David Ayers

Artificial Vinyl scarcity

49 posts in this topic

So you go to buy a little new vinyl and you already can't source it at anything like a reasonable price. I get it. But.

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I really don't understand the "resurgence" of vinyl. Everything I liked about it, I still like. but digital recording/playback has made quantum leaps in its lifetime, and unless there's some subconscious/subliminal yearning of the brain to return to processing a continuous analog signal instead of a still-fragmented digital data chain (and I'll not be one to rule that out, nor one to reflexively agree to it)...I see people paying waaaay too much (imo) for new records that have digital damn near everywhere in the processing chain yet still demand an analog playback technology and/or a playback medium that is fraught with peril over the long haul.

I'm like, yeah, I still buy vinyl regularly, but old stuff that was recorded and mastered to be played back that way, and even then, with an eye (or tow) on the price/condition ratio. Because, back in the day, what a REAL geek would do was that as soon as they got a good record, they'd transfer it to tape to save the vinyl, because, you know, shit happens. And shit still happens.

So, ok. Now what?

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The vinyl resurgence is irrational. If most people feel their CDs don't sound well it's because their speakers are complete shit. 

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Or because there have been some shitty sounding digital products over the years. But it's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

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I don't see how it can be maintained that the Japanese CD reissues are inferior to recent vinyl reissues. Those CDs sound great. You would need laboratory equipment to distinguish between them and LP counterparts. I have no plan to chase after recent LPs.

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5 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Or because there have been some shitty sounding digital products over the years. But it's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

And there haven't been various issues with vinyl releases? Hah!

Bottom line. People like to invest in a fancy amp or cd player and percentage-wise put less money in speakers than they should. And even then they refuse to sacrifice living room space for a proper setup. 

Edited by erwbol

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Just saying - we got digital before it was ready, and then once it got good, all the damn boomer nostalgia about how great it was to clean your weed on the inside of a gatefold LP devolved into how great records used to sound (oh, but remember how these same Boomers raved about how great CDs used to sound what with no scratches and not having to turn the record over and all that), and then, these mush-headed whoever they are started taking that to heart and, oh, vinyl is so...TACTILE, andyeah, sure, let's go back to  touchy-feeley AUDIO.

I think it's all bullshit. Nostalgia as science. Distraction as strategy.

Bottom line - an LP can sound great, but so can a CD and so can a file. In each case, I want the output format that best executes the input and the medium that best carries it.

Tone Poems for Joan's Bone'ems, etc.

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3 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Bottom line - an LP can sound great, but so can a CD and so can a file.

Either way, they'll only sound great if your speakers are, and if your setup is correct.

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4 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Tone Poems for Joan's Bone'ems, etc.

Incidentally, I compared various releases of the Corea album, and the original LP still sounds best. 🙂 But that is an exception rather than the rule. 

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I still hate vinyl as a medium. I remember all the bad things about it. They are all still there. The worst thing about it is that a simple act of failing to lift the stylus safely can permanently ruin your music playback. I hate that more than anything. You scratch that record, there's no fixing it. You have to buy it all over again.

I got back into vinyl about 10 years ago mainly because there were still things on LP that have never made it to CD.

My problem with all music media is storage. I moved into a much smaller space and I have LPs and CDs piled all over the place. I have autographed CDs and pictures that I can't hang. It's one of the only drawbacks to downsizing. :)

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I thought the conventional thinking was that vinyl had a warmer sound than cds; that always seemed to be the thinking here.  Apparently not anymore. After many years I’m starting to get re-interested in vinyl. Not whole hog but just some stuff here and there because nothing equals the portability of cds.  This week I was at two record shops, one here in town and Princeton Record Exchange.  Most people seemed to be looking at vinyl.  Both shops are split 50-50 between cds and vinyl.  

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I experienced vinyl as a child in the 80s and I still hate it. Like Kevin said, a slight moment of inattention and it's gone forever.

I have turned my living room into a listening room. I don't miss having a tv there. Nothing but lowest common denominator garbage.

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LPs are fun, and I've kinda amped up on looking for older classical LPs for multiple various reasons. But c'mon kids, let's get real about what's what and how's how.

Oh, all this talk about vinyl sounding "warmer"...not vinyl, analog recording/mastering/playback. That's a real thing,(even if "warmer" is a totally subjective interpretation applied to an actual audio phenomenon). But you gonna get the new Taylor Blowfish Grande record on an LP, good luck finding the analog in all that, and good luck taking it to parties and back and keeping the girlfriend's cat's hairs off of it and all that. Find something else to clean your weed on, and if you want tactile, hey, your girlfriend apparently has a cat, so touch it and see what happens. Better you get scratched than your records!

We're not gonna get ourselves back to the garden of analog, the garden done been turned over and they're growing electric fingernails there now.

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For me, the main reasons to buy vinyl:
1.) It costs less than buying the CD equivalent.
2.) The CD equivalent doesn't exist; it's never been issued in digital format.

For me, the main reason to buy CDs:
1.) It costs less than the LP equivalent.
2.) The LP equivalent doesn't exist; the music was made after LPs were no longer being produced.

So I guess you could say that I want the MUSIC. Format is secondary. If I can get two records in one format and one record in another, I want the format that gets me TWO.  

. . . 

All that said, vinyl is more fun.  Yeah, CDs are more practical.  But vinyl is somehow more . . . desirable.  Actually, I think it has something to do with the fact that LPs degrade over time. Ironically, their temporary-ness somehow makes them seem MORE valuable. Of course, the same could be said of LP album covers too; cardboard is so much more fragile than plastic CD cases.  All of that is part of what makes finding an old LP in excellent condition such a thrill.

. . .

All of this is irrational, I know.

But I guess it's no different than feeling like CDs & LPs are more "real" than MP3s (and I do).

And it's like feeling that streaming isn't "legit" at all for someone who really loves music (and I do). 

With streaming, there's no "thingy-ness" at all, nothing tangible whatsoever.

Isn't that what young people are reacting to? 

 

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13 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

With streaming, there's no "thingy-ness" at all, nothing tangible whatsoever.

Isn't that what young people are reacting to? 

Are they swiping left or right, or just flailing about, trying to have actions without consequences? Leaving the virtual lifestyle behind, or simply modifying it, is not a matter of wishing stuff to be so and then pretending it. You ain't getting back to that garden, believe that. If you want a different now, start with the current now, don't backtrack into a dream built on a myth built on a defunct behavioral paradigm. Save us all some time!

What I like about old vinyl (apart from the potential cost benefit) is that if you have a session that was recorded under lo(wer)-fi conditions, that analog LP is always going to bring the lo-fi more truly than anything digital. Talking about a lot of classical here, but some other musics as well, but, you know, some local chamber ensemble recording some obscurish composer and/or composition in a closet on a 3 3/4 IPS RTR because that's all they had, and playing the shit out of it for all of the 10-15 people who were ever going to actually buy that record, hell, you don't really want that in digital, you want that in analog, and preferably on a record that's not the greatest vinyl to begin with, because that type of thing REEKS (aurally and physically) of time/place/situation, that's the best it's going to sound because that shit's got a hide on it, you can't clean it up without doing some dermabrasion, and then what have you got? A rhino with smooth skin. Yuck.

 

 

 

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The main reason  I buy vinyl is that my attention span is more important with this format. I feel incomparably more active both listening to the music and reading (liner notes or online) about it. Becoming a cover freak has been a secondary effect though. As long as the record is legit and VG+, the sonic & fidelity aspects are way secondary to me.

I take care of my records but I am nowhere near a maniac when storing/manipulating/cleaning them. If the stationary state I'm living in remains, I'm certain than the vast majority of my records can be enjoyed for another good dozen spins.

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This Board is getting as bad as the Hoffman Forum. :D

I’ll take either - but as my best source component is the turntable/arm/cart/phono stage  the preference is always going to be vinyl. As I get lazier in my old age though regarding changing the sides I’m playing more CDs though. Having said that. a well set up deck spinning a choice vinyl platter is a thing of joy!

As for those decks e.g.with USB inputs, forget it !

5 hours ago, David Ayers said:

So you go to buy a little new vinyl and you already can't source it at anything like a reasonable price. I get it. But.

I hear you - not so long ago you could buy a fair bit of choice stuff for a fiver a shot and new LPs were not much more than a tenner. Now, everything seems to be £20 and up, with the Tone Poets at a pocket-emptying £35-40 each.

It was probably a ‘golden era’ though - I remember those French DMMs being £7-8 in the early 80s, quite expensive for the time.

Edited by sidewinder

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I always prefer CD, unless the cost is really painfully prohibitive (especially if I'm staring at an LP that's half the price).

Over 90% of my collection is on CD, and that's my medium of choice.  I certainly will buy on vinyl if there are no other choices (or not other good choices).

Vinyl is a pain in the ass to listen to, and half the time I have 20-30 CD's stacked on top of the cover to my turntable -- so it's not like I can pop an LP on without unearthing the player.

I don't hate vinyl, but it has a lot of limitations and negatives in my mind.

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11 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Are they swiping left or right, or just flailing about, trying to have actions without consequences? Leaving the virtual lifestyle behind, or simply modifying it, is not a matter of wishing stuff to be so and then pretending it. You ain't getting back to that garden, believe that. If you want a different now, start with the current now, don't backtrack into a dream built on a myth built on a defunct behavioral paradigm. Save us all some time!

I dunno, Jim.

I just know that people -- including me -- like having stuff around them that reflects their sense of who they are. 

That's why car-makers don't sell cars based on the car's features or restaurants sell their food based on taste. They're selling lifestyle accessories, identity badges, tribal markers.  ... And if that wasn't such a powerful thing -- if it didn't work -- no one would do it.  And everyone is doing it.

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16 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

This Board is getting as bad as the Hoffman Forum. :D

I’m starting to prefer the Hoffman Forum actually. A lot less BS, monopolization by one person and more diversity of opinion. 

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26 minutes ago, aparxa said:

I'm certain than the vast majority of my records can be enjoyed for another good dozen spins.

That's insane.

6 minutes ago, Brad said:

I’m starting to prefer the Hoffman Forum actually. A lot less BS, monopolization by one person and more diversity of opinion. 

And a Dear Leader to adore and ban anyone on a whim. ;)

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1 hour ago, erwbol said:

That's insane.

As most issues in the thread which are on the edge of First-World-Problem insanity /noemoticonintended.

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I still have several hundred LPs boxed up in storage. I don't have shelf room for them OR a turntable, so at some point I'm going to have to sell. I don't really miss them except for liner notes and big graphics.

Having said that, I have good friends who have jumped head-first into the vinyl boom. Must be costing them a fortune! When I see MMJs and other high-end remasters going for $50 and higher it boggles my mind. 

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2 hours ago, erwbol said:

That's insane.

And a Dear Leader to adore and ban anyone on a whim. ;)

Kim belongs here? :lol:

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The only thing I miss about vinyl are the larger format covers with easier-to-read liners, and a good pair of reader glasses takes care of THAT problem! For me, vinyl will always be about scratches, pops, and clicks that I have to try to ignore. *Modern* cds are, to me, so obviously superior in sound that I find this recent fixation on vinyl to be nothing more than hipster nonsense.

 

 

 

gregmo

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