What's so great about vinyl?

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paulhewson
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What's so great about vinyl?

Postby paulhewson » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:45 pm

The new Bazan monthly has the option to get the vinyl mailed to you. What's so great about vinyl? Beyond owning something physical do people still argue that it sounds better?

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ansible
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby ansible » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:30 am

everyone's going to disagree but not everyone is going to be right (mostly cause it can be hard to tell)

bottom line is that vinyl contains orders of magnitude of more "information" than a digital recording can reproduce, including frequencies beyond the range of human hearing (this and that and the nyquist frequency). it reproduces natural sound (like you would hear talking to someone) in a way that digital recordings simply cannot. whether you like natural sound or digital sound is up to you. it does sound different

imagine a 35mm film print compared to the highest quality 4k digital image and although you may think that "HD" looks a lot better, the color information in a single frame of film has (millions, literally) more color information than we can reproduce digitally, regardless of how it's captured or projected. film represents what the human eye sees - a digital image is only a sample of that

that's why watching hd sports and shit always seems to look brighter and clearer than if you were actually in the fucking stadium, simply because it can't reproduce what you are actually seeing

i've shot hd video direct to disk and b/w 16mm reversible with dat recorders to mag tape and i prefer the latter without question

some people don't care

some people do

do what you want

(but you should care)
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AMEason52
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby AMEason52 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:12 am

I buy a lot of vinyl. Sometimes I just get digital as well. I'm no expert, but it depends on the quality of the vinyl pressing. Some albums sound better on vinyl and some sound better digital. 7" singles almost always sound great. When something is recorded digitally and then pressed to vinyl, it seems odd to me. It just provides a different listening experience.

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sherpa141
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby sherpa141 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:43 am

So on this topic, about which I am fairly ignorant, if something is recorded digitally and then pressed to vinyl, does it still contain more information than wav file would?
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lovestartsdeath
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby lovestartsdeath » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:39 pm

Because of compression, something recorded digitally cannot capture 100% of sound like analog can. So in a sense, analog is the purest way to hear something as it's intended to be recorded and played.

Like someone mentioned, if something is recorded digitally, it doesn't matter if it's on a plastic CD or plastic record, it's the same. The only significant sound difference is if something was recorded AAA and kept AAA transfer.
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numan_the_son
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby numan_the_son » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:11 am

lovestartsdeath wrote:Because of compression, something recorded digitally cannot capture 100% of sound like analog can. So in a sense, analog is the purest way to hear something as it's intended to be recorded and played.


False. You don't need compression.

You cannot record something "the purest" way. Every mic, mixing board, DAC, ADC, speakers, etc will distort a signal to some degree. Vinyl will distort a signal in a certain way that people enjoy, just like tape distortion is found to be pleasant. It's all subjective.

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ansible
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby ansible » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:44 am

numan_the_son wrote:
lovestartsdeath wrote:Because of compression, something recorded digitally cannot capture 100% of sound like analog can. So in a sense, analog is the purest way to hear something as it's intended to be recorded and played.


False. You don't need compression.

You cannot record something "the purest" way. Every mic, mixing board, DAC, ADC, speakers, etc will distort a signal to some degree. Vinyl will distort a signal in a certain way that people enjoy, just like tape distortion is found to be pleasant. It's all subjective.


He probably meant "sampling" and not "compression".
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numan_the_son
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby numan_the_son » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:02 pm

ansible wrote:
numan_the_son wrote:
lovestartsdeath wrote:Because of compression, something recorded digitally cannot capture 100% of sound like analog can. So in a sense, analog is the purest way to hear something as it's intended to be recorded and played.


False. You don't need compression.

You cannot record something "the purest" way. Every mic, mixing board, DAC, ADC, speakers, etc will distort a signal to some degree. Vinyl will distort a signal in a certain way that people enjoy, just like tape distortion is found to be pleasant. It's all subjective.


He probably meant "sampling" and not "compression".


WELL THATS NOT THE SAME THING NOW IS IT

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lovestartsdeath
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby lovestartsdeath » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:02 pm

I fully admit to not having much knowledge in this area. I'm basing on what I've heard, read, and seen as an appreciator.

When listening to a record and a CD of the same song, I hear more sounds via the record. From what I've read, when something is recorded digitally, because of "compression" (or whatever the proper term is), it can't by it's very nature capture 100% of the sounds contained. Analog can achieve this, so I thought.

Please educate me man!
"Learn everything, later you will see that nothing is superfluous." - Hugh of Saint-Victor (c.1096–1141)



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TW
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby TW » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:23 am

If you record and master something in analog or at a high digital resolution (24 bit, 96 kHz for example), chances are it will sound better on vinyl than on iTunes or CD (where it is downsampled/converted from the hi-res).

If you master something at lower resolutions (16 bit, 44.1 kHz is standard for iTunes and CD), and then simply TRANSFER that to vinyl, the vinyl will probably be inferior.

There are a lot of other factors that come into play with vinyl. It's a mechanical process. Lots can go wrong at every step of the way in the manufacturing, not to mention during playback.

If you're really worried about vinyl fidelity, you need to be really educated about which pressings are best, where things were manufactured, etc. You also need to have a kickass playback system.

Maybe you just like the ritual of listening to vinyl (I do).

Digital is way "safer" in that replication is fool proof. It will sound the same almost everywhere...and if you pay for nice DAC converters, it only gets better. It doesn't usually get much "worse" than iPod/iPhone DAC quality.

paulhewson
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby paulhewson » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Thanks Ansible and TW for the informative responses. If there was a way to hear the difference of buying a high quality DAC player or dropping cash on a setup for vinyl that would be great. Most of they time I spend listening to music is in a plane over the sound of the engine through noise cancelling headset. Probably not getting the best experience out of it but it passes the time. I'd like to start enjoying it at home a little more and maybe vinyl would be the best way of doing it.

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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby TW » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:12 am

I have incredible DACs in my studio...but much of the time I'm listening from macbook, iphone or airport express.

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sherpa141
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby sherpa141 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:28 am

TW and everyone else - thanks for participating in this discussion.

I have a question about DACs. I was looking at this Lifehacker page of DACs (http://lifehacker.com/five-best-digital ... -483393503) and then reading some about them on various websites (including wikipedia ... I know), and I'm finding myself a bit confused about what a DAC would accomplish when hooked up to your iPod or computer. Isn't it true that both these devices already possess DACs that convert the digital into an analog signal for your headphones? So if the signal emerging from your computer/iPod is already in analog, what does a high-quality DAC actually do? Convert the analog signal back to digital and subsequently to a higher-quality analog signal?

Also, I've noticed that, to my ears anyway, the newer the automobile, the shittier the stock stereo system sounds. I had a 1996 Subaru and thought the speakers sounded great. Now I have a 2006 Civic hybrid, and music just sounds straight-up abrasive. There are some albums I can't even listen to (Dinosaur Jr's Farm comes to mind) in the car because the quality is so shitty. Now I'm spending a good bit of time in a company car (2013 Prius), and albums that sound comparatively rich in my Civic (Angel Olsen's Halfway Home) sound like garbage and quite literally hurt my ears. Any guesses as to what that's about?
Criminals are the people we punish for being a nuisance; artists are the people we reward for being a nuisance; successful businessmen are criminals disguised as artists.

-Adam Phillips

TW
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby TW » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:52 am

A DAC gets the audio signal from your computer DIGITALLY via USB or Firewire

paulhewson
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Re: What's so great about vinyl?

Postby paulhewson » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:47 pm

sherpa141 wrote:
Also, I've noticed that, to my ears anyway, the newer the automobile, the shittier the stock stereo system sounds. I had a 1996 Subaru and thought the speakers sounded great. Now I have a 2006 Civic hybrid, and music just sounds straight-up abrasive. There are some albums I can't even listen to (Dinosaur Jr's Farm comes to mind) in the car because the quality is so shitty. Now I'm spending a good bit of time in a company car (2013 Prius), and albums that sound comparatively rich in my Civic (Angel Olsen's Halfway Home) sound like garbage and quite literally hurt my ears. Any guesses as to what that's about?



I have no idea what it's about but it has been my experience exactly. I had a 2000 jetta that sounded pretty good for a stock speaker. Now I have a 2010 Flex and an 04 honda element(feel free to talk shit about my car choices) and they both are pretty shit. I think the Flex is geared towards having a dvd player but sounds like pretty gross when I play music through it.


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