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#360198 - 12/05/11 03:43 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: dakkon]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi dakkon (Alex),

First of all, the so-called "resurgence" of vinyl just isn't. It's 0.0001% of consumers who are "into" vinyl, a miniscule number compared to the era before the introduction of the CD and digital recording.

Look, vinyl is fun. You get nice big graphics on the album cover, and it's entertaining to watch the disc slowly revolving and the tonearm work its way across the disc. Tried watching a CD playback? A huge bore.

It's also very involving as a hobby, because you have to make certain the tonearm is perfectly set up, aligned and balanced, with the correct tracking force. You need to carefully clean and de-staticize the disc before playing (there are lots of nifty accessories to help you do this, including cleaning machines). If you don't take care of vinyl and fastidiously clean it before every play, you'll go mad with all the ticks and pops and surface noise during playback.

When everything is set up carefully, preferably with a custom tonearm and expensive cartridge, vinyl can sound remarkably good, almost indistinguishable from a CD if the original masters are good. However, even with all that, things can get nasty sounding and distorted as the tonearm reaches the inner grooves, where even the best cartridges have trouble tracking loud dynamics. This never happens with a CD or digital recording.

I agree with everything that J.B. says, and many of the "purist" tweakophile bunch who love vinyl simply do so because analog recording--vinyl--is easy to understand: a stylus wiggles in a groove, modulating a magnet between coils of wire, generating an analog voltage that the preamp and amp amplify.

In my experience, most tweaks don't understand digital recording; they can't comprehend it, plus it actually hints of pure science and math, which is what it is. There has always been a distinct anti-science bias in high-end audio magazines, which is why they won't do controlled blind testing. They like to believe that audio equipment has mystical qualities, and that extends to vinyl.

As to younger enthusisasts, they're either unwilling to do careful comparisons, or simply ignorant of all of vinyl's many audible limitations or perhaps they simply tune them out. The power of psychological bias is huge. There are thousands of awful-sounding recordings on vinyl, and lots of those have been transferred to CD, and sound just as bad on CD. Conversely, there are wonderful sounding analog masters, which once transferred to CD, are a revelation--no surface noise, no tick and pops, no inner-groove distortion, huge dyamics (far greater than an LP can encompass), plus utter freedom from audible wow and flutter. And no deterioration with repeated playings.

The first time I heard a digital recording of a grand piano (at an AES meeting in Toronto in the late 1970s), totally free of flutter (the slight wavering in pitch that's inherent in all vinyl playback and mastering), it was a revelation. This was before the introduction of the compact disc. It was a digital recording played back on a Sony U-matic VCR and all of the recording engineers present were thrilled with the distortion free sound and silent background.

Anyway, it's kind of an apples/oranges comparison. I don't discount the warm, fuzzy feeling that lots of enthusiasts get watching their LPs revolve and fondling those big record jackets, but it's an obsolete technology, like vacuum tubes and their pretty glowing filaments.

Have fun with your turntable and vinyl discs. But embracing it over digital recordings is like wanting a laptop computer with vacuum tubes (it would crush your lap!) Would you prefer a nice old antique CRT TV set, with its 100-pound cathode ray picture tube over a plasma or LCD flat screen? Or perhaps a tube-powered VCR? (It would take up an entire room and require its own air-cooling system.)

Cheers,
Alan
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#360200 - 12/05/11 03:51 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: alan]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5798
Loc: Some random location
Some nostalgia.

In the small town I grew up in, there was a woman that ran a record shop. She reminded me of the wicked witch on OZ. The only time I bought a record from her was a Beach Boys album with the song Honey on it. When I got it home, it was so warped that it made my needle jump the track every time it spun around.

So, I took it back and she placed it on her player, which had a smaller in diameter platter and it played fine on hers. She tried to talk me into keeping it. I refused and she very reluctantly let me pick another album. This time it was a Vanilla Fudge album and my first introduction to that group. I decided I like Vanilla Fudge better at that point in my life anyway.

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#360201 - 12/05/11 04:04 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: CatBrat]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
this is great writing, Alan. :-)

i forgot to say in my previous post that i equate "purists" to "conservatives".

tradition is king and it cannot change in the face of "adversity".

about the TLC, that tonearm i had was very good, but it wasn't optimally working in conjunction with the Shure V15, i had to drill many 2 mm. holes in the body of the cartridge holder in order to get the best of the Shure/arm combination.


Edited by J. B. (12/05/11 04:09 PM)
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#360202 - 12/05/11 04:22 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: J. B.]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
even a laptop which would have no ic's but instead discrete transistors and capacitors and the like would crush you.

my pc has millions of transistors; how would that fit in those small spaces?

ENIAC i think had 60 000 tubes and it needed a huge room with huge air conditioners...and it broke down about every hour.

ah, the good old times!
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#360203 - 12/05/11 04:29 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: J. B.]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5798
Loc: Some random location
Well, in the basement of the computer school I went to was an old Univac computer that took up about half of the room. It was an L-shaped device with a large printer and card reader/punch built in it. It had real core memory that amounted to 4k. We would test our smallish rpg and assembler programs that we wrote on it. Load in the supervisor from a deck of cards, then load in the compiler from another deck of cards, then our program from a smaller deck of cards, plus the data cards, then after much spinning, clicking, and large clatter from the printer, we got our program results.

This is the only time I remember having to use Alter instructions, which changed the compiled version of the program as it ran so the same code could perform more than one function.

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#360205 - 12/05/11 05:14 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: CatBrat]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
did you ever try to calculate the value of Pi on that computer, and if so, to how many decimals? and how much time did it take?


Edited by J. B. (12/05/11 05:15 PM)
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#360206 - 12/05/11 05:17 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: J. B.]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3186
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi J.B.,

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed it.

My old custom turntable, a Scottish Ariston (much like the Linn) had an SME tonearm (they now cost thousands; I think I paid about $400 for it, a lot of dough in the early '70s) that I spent many hours aligning with a special tonearm protractor.

And yes to your remarks on the laptop with separate transistors. My comment on the tube VCR was prompted by my brief experience working at CFPL-TV, in London, Ontario, in 1965, my first job out of college. The video recorder was a huge Ampex vacuum-tube machine that used 2-inch-wide open-reel video tape and took up an entire room with a high-pressure AC system to cool all the vacuum tubes. It was black and white and of course, Standard Definition. I marveled at its complexity.

Regards,
Alan
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Axiom Resident Expert

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#360209 - 12/05/11 05:43 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: J. B.]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5798
Loc: Some random location
Originally Posted By: J. B.
did you ever try to calculate the value of Pi on that computer, and if so, to how many decimals? and how much time did it take?


Nope. Never did. We had either too much home work or partying to do instead.

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#360216 - 12/05/11 08:52 PM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: CatBrat]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
I by no means have any intention of geting rid of my Oppo BD-83. I will keep it as well as al of my digital media. However, like i said earlier, i would like to see what vinyl is like.

I very well may decide that i don't want to deal with all of the extra stuff that you talk about Alan, please keep in mind i am at the infancy of my understanding what is involved with using vinyl. Being part of the "digital age" cleaning a record prior to listening to, ect, ect, may prove to be something that i don't want to deal with.

I do think that i would like to get a digital copy and a vinyl copy of the exact same record, so that i can do my own comparison between the BD83, and the turntable.


Also, i completely 100% agree with your perception of the audio industry's resist to "scientific testing". If there was scientific testing, then these companies that charge 2,000$+ for a pair of speaker wire would ALL go out of business. There is scientific proof that silver is a better conductor than copper. As silver tarnishes the oxidation actually improves the conductance of the material. There has only been 1 brand of speakers that i personally could hear an audible improvement over my Axiom's. These were a pair of wilson's that retailed for 20 or 25k$ a pair.

Just earlier today when i was buying a phono preamp, the gentleman at spearitsound was using additives like "warmer". When i asked him to quantify "warmer", he changed the subject and made a recommendation based on a quantifiable metric, which was build quality and components used.

I have B&W speakers in my bedroom. and to be honest, i bought them because i liked the way they look, not because they "sound better". to me they pretty much sound the exact same as my axioms..

So i would like see if I can hear any difference. Like i said before, this may be just a hobby.

Thank you for your input Alan and J.B. both, i do appreciate your experience and opinion as both of you seem to have extensive experience with turntables, and LP's.

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#360234 - 12/06/11 02:23 AM Re: how many of you guys have a Turntable? [Re: dakkon]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
This is just a hobby and finding things out for yourself is the fun.
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