Vinyl

hawkeye_a

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 27, 2016
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I have a mild curiosity about vinyl and thought I'd start a discussion and get some opinions about the format.

Vinyl is before my time, so i've never owned or even heard one in a 'home setting'. My CD collection has been damaged beyond repair, and i've been debating if I should start replace them with CDs or go in for Vinyl.

I'm no hipster, so I'm not particularly interested in any 'street cred' or such. Right now i'm leaning towards CDs because they're cheaper and more portable than records. And easier to transfer to my iPhone for portable listening.

What are the pros/cons? Opinions on the format in comparison to CDs?

PS>>Please leave the debate about digital vs physical out
 

ibookg409

Suspended
Apr 20, 2016
613
7,555
Portsmouth, NH
I have a mild curiosity about vinyl and thought I'd start a discussion and get some opinions about the format.

Vinyl is before my time, so i've never owned or even heard one in a 'home setting'. My CD collection has been damaged beyond repair, and i've been debating if I should start replace them with CDs or go in for Vinyl.

I'm no hipster, so I'm not particularly interested in any 'street cred' or such. Right now i'm leaning towards CDs because they're cheaper and more portable than records. And easier to transfer to my iPhone for portable listening.

What are the pros/cons? Opinions on the format in comparison to CDs?

PS>>Please leave the debate about digital vs physical out
CD's sound much better. Replace your scratched CDs with new one. Rip all your music to your computer so you can recreate a damaged CD for free.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
51,731
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The Far Horizon
I have a mild curiosity about vinyl and thought I'd start a discussion and get some opinions about the format.

Vinyl is before my time, so i've never owned or even heard one in a 'home setting'. My CD collection has been damaged beyond repair, and i've been debating if I should start replace them with CDs or go in for Vinyl.

I'm no hipster, so I'm not particularly interested in any 'street cred' or such. Right now i'm leaning towards CDs because they're cheaper and more portable than records. And easier to transfer to my iPhone for portable listening.

What are the pros/cons? Opinions on the format in comparison to CDs?

PS>>Please leave the debate about digital vs physical out
With vinyl, a lot depended on the quality of the recording; some companies (Deutsche Grammophon come to mind) produced superlative high quality recordings which set a standard that others could only aspire to.

I loved (and love) vinyl, the sound, the whole world of unpacking and playing an album, the whole process of playing records (LPs), but will say that a good quality CD is probably more convenient and will take up less space.
 
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rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
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Sunny, Southern California
I have a mild curiosity about vinyl and thought I'd start a discussion and get some opinions about the format.

Vinyl is before my time, so i've never owned or even heard one in a 'home setting'. My CD collection has been damaged beyond repair, and i've been debating if I should start replace them with CDs or go in for Vinyl.

I'm no hipster, so I'm not particularly interested in any 'street cred' or such. Right now i'm leaning towards CDs because they're cheaper and more portable than records. And easier to transfer to my iPhone for portable listening.

What are the pros/cons? Opinions on the format in comparison to CDs?

PS>>Please leave the debate about digital vs physical out
If you are looking for a turntable recommendations you might want to also check out the below thread. There is also some general discussion also.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/turntable-recommendations.1964724/#post-23952751
 
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arkitect

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Sep 5, 2005
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Heresy I know, but I will never go back to vinyl.

Period.

Grew up with it (yes, the smell of a fresh album out of cellophane and size of the artwork holds a certain nostalic appeal), but for sound quality and convenience I switched to CDs even while the process had teething troubles. (CD rot etc).

These days I am 100% digital.

I leave vinyl for the hipstahs and beardies. ;)
[doublepost=1500391150][/doublepost]
If you want the vinyl experience, just sit next to the fridge and eat Rice Krispies while listening to your CDs. ;-)
This.
 
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rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
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Sunny, Southern California
If you are looking for a turntable recommendations you might want to also check out the below thread. There is also some general discussion also.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/turntable-recommendations.1964724/#post-23952751
I like vinyl a lot. Have quite a few records and a good (good for me) piece of equipment with a dedicated stereo receiver. I actually like the sound of vinyl when it is pressed and done right on a good stereo system.

Having said that, I close to 1500 cd's that I have ripped into a lossless format and play on all my devices and home music system.

But I still enjoy sitting down and listening to my vinyl.
 
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ThisBougieLife

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2016
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SF Bay Area, California
I don't see vinyl as a replacement for CDs. To me, it's an alternative. The experience is very different from CDs, so it does not replace it. I own hundreds of CDs and have been collecting them for years and will continue to do so; I only recently got into vinyl (within the last year) and I'm building up a collection, but it doesn't replace my CD collection.

Pros: Some people claim vinyl sounds better. Used records are often cheaper than CDs.

Cons: Getting it to "sound better" is very difficult and requires a lot of effort. All parts of playing vinyl: the turntable, the cartridge, the alignment and setup of said cartridge, the receiver/amp, the preamp, the RCA cables, the quality of the record (I've bought used records that were damaged by someone playing them with a badly set-up cartridge, etc), whether the record is clean, etc. play a factor in how it will sound. There are myriad ways in which distortion can be introduced into the playback. With CDs you really just have to make sure it's not scratched and you're good to go.

Vinyl has become a hobby for me, and fine-tuning the sound to get it just right is fun for me. For others, it's not worth the effort. It depends on what you're willing to put into it.

some companies (Deutsche Grammophon come to mind) produced superlative high quality recordings which set a standard that others could only aspire to.
Love my DGs and my London ffrr (the latter for opera, especially). Those are the best sounding records I've had. A good-condition DG record does sound better than the same recording on CD, that's for sure.
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
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If you want the vinyl experience, just sit next to the fridge and eat Rice Krispies while listening to your CDs. ;-)
Sounds like someone used a bargain bin stylus on their record player. You gotta use the top quality needles to get rid of the hissing. The snap, crackle, pop is probably due to specks of dust on the track. The only way to get good sound was to play in a dust free room with high end stylus. If you're lucky it'll sound almost as good as an 8-track.:D
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,531
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Sunny, Southern California
Sounds like someone used a bargain bin stylus on their record player. You gotta use the top quality needles to get rid of the hissing. The snap, crackle, pop is probably due to specks of dust on the track. The only way to get good sound was to play in a dust free room with high end stylus. If you're lucky it'll sound almost as good as an 8-track.:D
As an 8-track.... :p:p:p:D:D:D:eek::):):)
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,564
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Vilano Beach, FL
Vinyl has become a hobby for me, and fine-tuning the sound to get it just right is fun for me.
@hawkeye_a , I'd say this is the best answer. There's really nothing more practical about vinyl, and the subjective merits of the sound (vs. CD) can be debated all day. There's a lot of really poorly mastered CDs, freqs cutout, compression, etc., it's not the medium itself, it's decisions made during the engineering - some folks think that analog vinyl retains more purity - check out something like The White Stripes Icky Thump on vinyl, then CD, there's zero comparison, the vinyl is way better.

It's in the same category as solid state vs. tube gear, the latter has a hobbyist sort of quality, there's a cool aesthetic to seeing the tubes, "rolling" them to get different sound profiles, etc.

There are also people with massive, existing vinyl collections, that often include obscure records, that would be highly costly and time consuming to replace.

In the end, it's kind of about - per my quoted post above - the experience.
[doublepost=1500399504][/doublepost]Another thing about vinyl - and if you'll excuse me, I'm going to mention digital only in the context of the experience.

With a vinyl album, you pull out the record, there's a nice big version of the album artwork, you probably flip it over, look over the tracks - let's say you have a setup with a tube amp, you fire that up, the tubes glow and warm up, you carefully remove the record, set it on the turntable, spin it up, slowly drop the arm down on the record - sit back, enjoy.

Digital, click, music plays.

:D
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
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Colorado
I won't go into anything technical here but I grew up during the time when all there were, were 8-tracks, cassettes and LPs or vinyl as they are referred to today.

Not to get into anything really technical, but I have several original LP releases in which the CD versions never could top the sound of the LPs. Those releases were from Rush - Moving Pictures, Frankie Goes to Hollywood (both of their releases) and Def Leppards Hysteria.

I have a couple of Technics turntables that I bought back the early 80s that I use today that still have the original cartridges bought back in the 80s. I also have a Technics equalizer and an old Marantz tube Amplifier with some huge Sony speakers from the 90s.

I'm from the time where LPs cost $6.99-8.99 each and now, LPs go for $20+ from what I can tell. I haven't bought anything new since the 90s so as far as sound quality goes for todays releases, I have no clue. I'd like to get back into buying some newer releases from today going back from the last decade but I'm not eager to pay those prices. I know releases are less then $20 such as some that I've seen that can be ordered directly from the artists websites.

I do find it interesting that Sony is releasing LPs again.
 
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entropi

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2008
503
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No "loudness wars" on vinyls. Recordsleeves are nice as art for your walls. Time consuming to transfer to your digital player (if you like to do that). Less hassle to store CDs.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
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10,761
I grew up with vinyl. My collective answer is a "heck no," I will never go back. The first time I played back an audio CD I was jumping around like I'd just discovered a pot of gold. Quite sure my folks have an old gramophone in storage somewhere.
 
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Perene

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2015
835
320
Netherealm
Heresy I know, but I will never go back to vinyl.

Period.

Grew up with it (yes, the smell of a fresh album out of cellophane and size of the artwork holds a certain nostalic appeal), but for sound quality and convenience I switched to CDs even while the process had teething troubles. (CD rot etc).

These days I am 100% digital.

I leave vinyl for the hipstahs and beardies. ;)
[doublepost=1500391150][/doublepost]
This.
You can always record what you have on vinyl. I wouldn't go back either, however I can't deny the fact that with each release things might sound different, and sometimes not for the better.

As D.T. already said, there are a lot of really poorly mastered CDs.

A Blu-ray, for example, is preferable to a DVD/laserdisc, however you can't throw the last two away when you discover that while Blu-ray is an improved technology that looks (and sounds) incredible, it can be wasted with DNR or many changes in the release that will distance the media itself from the stuff as you saw in the cinemas. So you gain a lot, but lose anyway.

I suggest having all possible sources to compare their differences, and if the vinyl sounds better, don't assume you are only feeling "nostalgic". Sometimes it really is, and that fact is not taken into consideration by reviewers, sadly they only evaluate one, not two or more sources at the same time.

Or the common idea that an analog type of distortion can be considered as "warmth" and for that reason vinyl sounds better.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 68000
Mar 22, 2010
1,546
11,785
I have a mild curiosity about vinyl and thought I'd start a discussion and get some opinions about the format.

Vinyl is before my time, so i've never owned or even heard one in a 'home setting'. My CD collection has been damaged beyond repair, and i've been debating if I should start replace them with CDs or go in for Vinyl.

I'm no hipster, so I'm not particularly interested in any 'street cred' or such. Right now i'm leaning towards CDs because they're cheaper and more portable than records. And easier to transfer to my iPhone for portable listening.

What are the pros/cons? Opinions on the format in comparison to CDs?

PS>>Please leave the debate about digital vs physical out
I'm 56, and had years of experience with 33 and 45 plus records, and I don't miss those days one bit.

Records skip, they wear out, they pop and hiss. They get dirty, they warp.

But worst of all, they make you listen to a whole side (~six songs) before flipping over and listening to the next six songs. The greatest thing that digital music has given us is the ability to buy the of songs of our choosing, and to play them in the order that suits us. It's a freedom that we take for granted today, but something that those who grew up buying a vinyl record because they liked that one song, know is a beautiful thing.
 
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arkitect

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Sep 5, 2005
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I'm 56, and had years of experience with 33 and 45 plus records, and I don't miss those days one bit.

Records skip, they wear out, they pop and hiss. They get dirty, they warp.
53 years old here and agree 100%.

But worst of all, they make you listen to a whole side (~six songs) before flipping over and listening to the next six songs. The greatest thing that digital music has given us is the ability to buy the of songs of our choosing, and to play them in the order that suits us. It's a freedom that we take for granted today, but something that those who grew up buying a vinyl record because they liked that one song, know is a beautiful thing.
And further to your point, how many B-sides remained unplayed or neglected? I was certainly guilty of that. :)
 
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Number-Six

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2013
409
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I have a mild curiosity about vinyl and thought I'd start a discussion and get some opinions about the format.

Vinyl is before my time, so i've never owned or even heard one in a 'home setting'. My CD collection has been damaged beyond repair, and i've been debating if I should start replace them with CDs or go in for Vinyl.

I'm no hipster, so I'm not particularly interested in any 'street cred' or such. Right now i'm leaning towards CDs because they're cheaper and more portable than records. And easier to transfer to my iPhone for portable listening.

What are the pros/cons? Opinions on the format in comparison to CDs?

PS>>Please leave the debate about digital vs physical out
I do not wish to start a debate on anything, but out of curiosity is there a reason you're not considering digital? Especially since you mention transfering to the iPhone.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
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Vilano Beach, FL
But worst of all, they make you listen to a whole side (~six songs) before flipping over and listening to the next six songs. The greatest thing that digital music has given us is the ability to buy the of songs of our choosing, and to play them in the order that suits us.

As a counterpoint, I'd say this also has the potential to dilute the appreciation of an album as a total listening experience. Sure, when it's disposable music from an album with one or two "hits", it's nice not to pay for the filler, but I can't imagine - just off the top of my head - tossing on any of these, and _not_listening from front to back, in the order that was by design from the artist:

Radiohead - Kid A or OK Computer
King Crimson - In the court of the Crimson King
Tool - Aenima or Lateralus
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
 

hawkeye_a

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 27, 2016
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Thanks for your opinions. It seems like CDs are the way to go (for me). What i'm hearing is that LPs are not as durable, bigger to store, more expensive, not necessarily better quality, and difficult to transfer to digital. Fair assessment?

@Number-Six Thats a really long debate/discussion. But the quality, cost(surprisingly) and longevity of CDs outweigh the convenience of digital (for me).
 
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bbrks

macrumors 65816
Dec 17, 2013
1,471
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CD's sound much better. Replace your scratched CDs with new one. Rip all your music to your computer so you can recreate a damaged CD for free.
OK , I understand the convenience of CD vs vinyl records, but to say that CD sounds better :eek:. Unreal nonsense....
 

vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
911
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Best of all is to have your music on your HDD/SSD. You can make a backup for protection. CD/DVDs are good for backup too, but as pointed out above somewhere, they can spoil and become unplayable. Surface scratches are one reason, another I have experienced in a humid environment is a type of mould/spot deterioration on the data film on the disc. CDs generally are a cheap plastic substrate with a thin film applied to one side, coated in a protective lacquer. That lacquer is OK for general situations but I have lost loads of discs due to it failing.
 
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ThisBougieLife

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2016
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SF Bay Area, California
Thanks for your opinions. It seems like CDs are the way to go (for me). What i'm hearing is that LPs are not as durable, bigger to store, more expensive, not necessarily better quality, and difficult to transfer to digital. Fair assessment?
If you're looking for the most practical means of listening to music, vinyl is incredibly impractical. Practicality is not the point of vinyl for me, but if that's what you're after, CDs are the best bet to achieve the balance of practicality with sound quality. Plus, you can rip CDs into digital files and achieve higher quality than what you can download from iTunes (and have the convenience of listening to it on your computer with having the CD in the drive). My CD collection is ripped into Apple Lossless files. They take up more space than compressed files, but they sound better.
 
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