Vinyl Records

7soundz

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Hi Everyone, I recently got interested in vinyl records again. I previously used them in the early 90s but stopped with the advent of CDs etc. Maybe it's nostalgia or due to the never ending debate on the sound quality Vinyl vs CDs, but I'm thinking of giving vinyl records another try. For those of you who use vinyl records, can you recommend a good player? Nothing over $200. I know this is a bit limiting but if I get back into it full swing i'll invest more in a better player.

Finally, are modern vinyl records still recorded from analog or is it digital?
 

ArtDecade

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95% of new records are made and mastered in the digital domain - so suddenly pressing it to vinyl isn't going to make it sound "more" analog. Listening to modern records on vinyl seems to me to be pretty pointless, but there are a lot of great records that never made it out of vinyl age. Grab a cheap used player and see if you still have the bug in 6 months. I love early swing music and still have a fantastic RCA Victrola that I use for 78s.
 

bostjan

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One of the last places on Earth to manufacture Victrola parts is right here in St. Johnsbury. The entire workshop is in a guy's house. If you ever get hopelessly lost and wind up in St. Johnsbury (ha!), you should look them up and check the place out.

I would be shocked and amazed if the percentage of records released in, say, 2017 was as high as 5% analogue. In fact, I'd be very surprised if it was 0.5%. Although, I should maybe try that, and do a limited pressing of my stuff off of a 2" tape. Not like anyone buys my albums anyway. :lol:

There are a couple places that still press vinyl records. One of the bigger ones is in the UK, and there are a couple very small workshops that do some kind of replicant cutting, rather than a pressing.

I love the tone of old vinyl records. Some of the old 78's sounded awful when I was a kid, but they likely were not well maintained. Theoretically, a 78 should have twice the quality density of a standard LP.

Modern high fidelity record players are expensive. I second the idea of starting with something that you might be able to resell easily if you lose interest. Really, CD's sound great and are also a dying medium.
 

vansinn

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Stop giving me those flashbacks!
I was stupid enough to sell my collection, though not too large, still some amazing classics and jazz-fusion. Sigh, and sheez kebab..

Yup, real analog on vinyl can have it's totally lovely sound. Generally, I've been more happy with decent quality analog/vinyl than decent digital - which doesn't reduce digital below analog, provided it's done right. Which a log of early digital couldn't brag about..
 

synrgy

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It's not about sound quality for me, at all. I just like records. (Until it's time to move, anyway; then they kinda suck..)

For ages, I've had a pair of Technics 1200s for DJing, but for my birthday this year, my wife grabbed us one of these, to use in our living room: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008872SIO/?tag=sevenstringorg-20

Pros:
Built-in, switchable preamp
Replaceable stylus/needle
Auto start/stop
Decent build quality for low price

Cons:
Belt drive (not gonna get decent direct drive at this price point, though)
Stock stylus/needle is pretty meh
 

tedtan

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Finally, are modern vinyl records still recorded from analog or is it digital?

Most modern albums are recorded, mixed and mastered digitally, even if they end up on vinyl down the line. And even those that are recorded, mixed and mastered all analog are probably digitized before being pressed to vinyl because almost all the lathes used to cut the master have had a digital delay built into them since 1985 or so.

There are a few small shops that make limited runs on machines that do not convert to digital prior to pressing, but they make up a small percentage of all the vinyl being pressed today.
 

Tyler

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For a modern turntable that wont actually destroy your records (looking at you, Crosley..) I would suggest an Audio Technica LP-60 or 120 for the budget you're looking for. If you want to spend a bit more though into the $400 region, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is the best bang for the buck IMO
 

chipchappy

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For a modern turntable that wont actually destroy your records (looking at you, Crosley..) I would suggest an Audio Technica LP-60 or 120 for the budget you're looking for. If you want to spend a bit more though into the $400 region, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is the best bang for the buck IMO

Audio Technica is solid for the price point. Def recommend that one.

95% of new records are made and mastered in the digital domain - so suddenly pressing it to vinyl isn't going to make it sound "more" analog. Listening to modern records on vinyl seems to me to be pretty pointless, but there are a lot of great records that never made it out of vinyl age. Grab a cheap used player and see if you still have the bug in 6 months. I love early swing music and still have a fantastic RCA Victrola that I use for 78s.

See, to me, the sound is only a part of it.

The act of thumbing through records, deciding what me and my friends wanna listen to and laying around with them stoned out of our minds is a ritual we partake in almost every night.

I love reading the liner notes and the lyrics and collecting different colored pressings. Ugh, so good.

And listening to everything from Godspeed! to Ghost to Bon Iver to Sabbath to Jay Z to Tool to Bad Brains... I love it. Vinyl is awesome. Props to you @7soundz for getting back into it!
 

zappatton2

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For a modern turntable that wont actually destroy your records (looking at you, Crosley..) I would suggest an Audio Technica LP-60 or 120 for the budget you're looking for. If you want to spend a bit more though into the $400 region, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is the best bang for the buck IMO
Agreed 100%! I used to own a Crosley, I thought I had a total lemon, but it turns out they squeeze out nothing but lemonade. Awful awful products, avoid at all costs. I also picked up an Audio Technica LP-60 a year and a half ago, and it's served me well for $150 Canadian.

As to digital on wax, I agree you're not really gaining anything sound-wise, but as synrgy said, I just love the medium. I find the modern "everything at the touch of a screen era" kinda detracts from just sitting down and enjoying an album. It's why I still like making mix tapes, sometimes the process is also rewarding, beyond the instant results and infinite distractions.
 

MFB

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See, to me, the sound is only a part of it.

The act of thumbing through records, deciding what me and my friends wanna listen to and laying around with them stoned out of our minds is a ritual we partake in almost every night.

I love reading the liner notes and the lyrics and collecting different colored pressings. Ugh, so good.

And listening to everything from Godspeed! to Ghost to Bon Iver to Sabbath to Jay Z to Tool to Bad Brains... I love it. Vinyl is awesome. Props to you @7soundz for getting back into it!

:agreed:

I got my dad's collection when he passed, and my old roommate got into collecting vinyl, and we used to love just packing bowls and putting on albums to listen to; nothing more than that, just enjoying good music while under the influence. It's so easy to put on music while you work, clean, browse online, and not really absorb it, so to stop all that and focus on just the music is great.

I'm actually breaking my player back out next month when I redo my room, and Lift Yr Skinny Fists will probably be the first one I let have a go at it
 

Tyler

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As to digital on wax, I agree you're not really gaining anything sound-wise, but as synrgy said, I just love the medium. I find the modern "everything at the touch of a screen era" kinda detracts from just sitting down and enjoying an album. It's why I still like making mix tapes, sometimes the process is also rewarding, beyond the instant results and infinite distractions.


For me personally, I love the layouts that some LPs have. Some come with posters, booklets, etc that are just more special to hold onto, as well as the vinyl itself if it isn't just plain black. Even if theres not much of a sound advantage, listening to a whole record through rather than jumping around on tracks makes me feel I can enjoy it more as a whole.
 

feraledge

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I'm with you on just liking records. The feel and experience of an LP, having to actually take it out of packaging and to flip it over, etc. Creates an actual, intentional experience with the music that you don't have on downloaded files. Even my favorite album of the year might not stick in my mind for long and there's times where I wouldn't even recognize the cover art. The sound difference never mattered as much to me since 85% of what I had on vinyl was badly recorded crust, metal and grindcore anyways.
I did a distro for nearly a decade and amassed a healthy chunk of records. I sold the last few probably five or six years ago. As much as I like the experience, I hate the clutter, lugging around and space it takes up. I've thought about just getting some records and a record player again at some point, but if I have to weigh my space allotments, I'll go guitar every time or just stick with the only thing I have a lot of anymore: books.
All in all, I think that if you love music, vinyl is just the best way to round it all out. That said, the kind of "finally" moment I had when my band got one of our records on vinyl was matched with never having a record player to hear it on and then the absolute frustration of trying to move copies of a 7" after not playing shows.
 

DudeManBrother

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I’ve never purchased any metal records, but I love listening to old big band, jazz, and classical on record. I also love NOFX and they always realease different material on their records vs digital albums. Usually slight variations but I always enjoy the subtle changes that you can only get with the records. Plus it’s fun at a minor hobby level just browsing old records at thrift stores. Who doesn’t get stoked finding a Jim Croce LP for $0.99 lol
 

Chiba666

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For me, as mentioned above the sound is one part of it, to em its the experience of playing vinyl. Lets be honest all Maiden covers look better on vinyl big and bold allowing you to see all of Derek Riggs work. reading the lyrics in a good size font instead of squinting. Not to mention that once you drop the needle you have to move to skip tracks
 

budda

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To the guys trying to talk the OP out of buying records, probably should have just not clicked on the thread ;)

I have an old MIJ record player that sounds great but struggles with heavier records, and my el cheapo off-brand one plays things just fine. I don't have a fancy setup though, everything I have for my stereo was very cheap or free.
 

bostjan

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I agree 100% that the artwork on the album cover is an entire level of enjoyment above CD artwork. The CD gives you, usually, a photo of the album cover. A lot of album covers were interactive, whether they were made of blue jeans (Rolling Stones), had windows on buildings you could open and see inside (Led Zeppelin), had some sort of holographic outlines not at all visible on the CD (Tool), or just were so much bigger that you could make out a crazy amount of detail (everything else, but check out Dookie, for example). Some of the more limited edition super premium collector's digipack CD's tried to do the same thing, and, cool as it is, it'll never be as cool as a big vinyl record cover with decent effort put into it.
 

sakeido

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For a modern turntable that wont actually destroy your records (looking at you, Crosley..) I would suggest an Audio Technica LP-60 or 120 for the budget you're looking for. If you want to spend a bit more though into the $400 region, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is the best bang for the buck IMO

The Debut Carbon is the business. I skipped the entry level as it seems every deck had one horrible compromise or another. You can turn around and sell them for like $100 less than you paid so it's not a big hit if it turns out vinyl isn't for you. But, there is no preamp built-in and you have to buy an external one. I forgot which one I have but it is easy to start drinking the audiophile kool-aid at that point and throw a ton of money at something that sounds 0.004% better... if that.

Most metal albums aren't mastered in analog, but there's a lot of guys that do a great job on the transfer anyway. These guys know the guys buying vinyls are serious about music and they aren't going to screw you over with a bad transfer. It's disappointing when you do get bad ones (avoid anything Lamb of God has ever put on vinyl) but when you do stumble across the occasional album that was mastered for vinyl, they sound outstanding. Deafheaven New Bermuda for instance is about 700 times better on vinyl than it is digital.

Everything classic is better on vinyl too. You may think you've heard More Than a Feeling before, but until you've heard it on vinyl...
 

7soundz

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Thanks for all the insights. Just like everyone else, the sound is only part of my fondness of vinyl records. I tend to prefer listening to an entire album vs a playlist of random songs. Nowadays albums tend to short change the listener by only have 2 or 3 good songs and then a bunch of fillers. when you have a good album on vinyl is truly created a memorable experience that was more than simply listening to music. It's hard to explain but it gave you the feeling that you were enjoying something you physically owned which for some reason felt different with CDs and obviously mp3 also.
 
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synrgy

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Quick-tip - not to presume you don't already know, but, just in case:

In terms of storage, don't stack the records horizontally, like this:

upload_2017-9-27_12-45-8.jpeg

That's bad. It warps the plates.
 


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