More thoughts on LPs…….

1 week, 2 days ago 4
Posted in: blog

 

The logo above, on my new t-shirt, is for The In Groove Record Store in Phoenix, AZ the owner Mike does a great Youtube view channel with over 7 million viewers!  His channel along with Jack Graham’s  Straight Talk with Jack, and New Record Day are some of my favorites to watch.  Jack got me back into LPs by gifting me a very nice turnable and cartridge and I’ve started to amass a small collection of records.  I say small because it is nothing like Jack’s over a thousand!  I still haven’t filled my box that will hold only 50!  Before you consider getting into this form of listening, I have a few warnings!

 

Disadvantages:

  1. It’s expensive, LPs that used got to less than $10. are now anywhere from $20. to $60. and many collectable ones for far, far more!
  2. A recent video by Mike was also distressing as he discussed how many pressings of the LP,  Rumors by Fleetwood Mack were available and many were of poor quality. Figuring out which ones to buy is no small thing.  It is not always apparent from looking at just the record jacket, (the cardboard sleeve the record comes in).
  3. LPs can be damaged while playing  or handling them, far more delicate that a CD or tape.
  4. If you enjoy just certain tracks or cuts in a record, skipping around is much more difficult than pushing a button on the CD player remote!
  5. Because half of the songs are on a second side, once again, getting to that song requires removing the record and turning it over!  I know that sounds like a pretty lazy excuse, but hey we are very used to convienence!
  6. Lots of used records are available and fun to try to find and less expensive to buy, but unless you really know what you’re doing, getting them great condition can be a challange and you’re always taking a chance!
  7. The ritual of dusting and cleaning your records before they are played is also one more step between you and your music!

 

Advantages:

  1.  Analog records have a certain sound that is very, very pleasant.  It’s not more accurate, just has a great sound, less sterile than many CD’s and streamed music. Your choice of amplifiers and speakers can help with the more clinical sound of digital music but I have to admit, a great LP of the same music, if properly mastered and pressed,  has a great warm full sound, that I love!
  2. The same disadvantage of all the things you need to do, makes the listening even more rewarding.  you’re more likely to get lost in an LP and let it play all the way to the end, and after all that is some the great pleasure of a collection of performances!
  3. If you are convinced that a record simply sounds better, then that is the reward of listening to an LP!  I’m still slightly on the fence on that one, but I really do enjoy them!
  4. Liner notes and a wealth of information about the artists can make your musical experience all the richer.

 

So in the end, what are my final thoughts?  I simply love music and I really love the hobby of the gear, I enjoy comparing speakers and headphones to one another.  I have three sets of speakers in my listening room and over a dozen different pairs of headphones, I love them all, but they are all different and it is that difference that keeps things fresh!  My main source material is CD’s, I went rather wild during the hey day of CDs and collected well over two thousand.  With Apple Music I have hundreds of albums from a great variety of artists and the lossless files from my iPad Pro sound fantastic!  Unlike Jack who is a musician and knows a great deal about jazz, my tastes runs quite wide. from Bluegrass to Classical,  Symphonic to Rock n’ Roll, to Contemporary Christian and Gospel music!  I have a massive collection of late 50’s to mid 60’s Oldies rock n’ roll on CDs!  I also have a very complete collection of Frank Sinatra! My brother Homer and I saw him perform  live in Miami during Spring Break in the sixties!

 

Thanks Jack for re-invigorating my love of the music and the gear!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

Be sure and watch these:

 

The “in” Grove on Youtube

 

Straight Talk With Jack on  youtube

 

New Record Day on youtube

 

i also enjoy The Cheap Audio Man, Andrew Robinson and the the Audiophioliac with Steve Guttenberg all on Youtube.

 

4 Responses

  1. jack graham says:

    Bill. Thanks for the kind words. I have about 800 CD’s as well. However, I only listen to those(few) that are not readily available on vinyl. To me most CD’s are very, very, very compressed and even close to sounding as open as a vast majority of vinyl.. True it talks more patience to listen to records, but the rewards for me are a no brainer. M They deliver a really different sound ( Vast majority–not all). Most CD’s for me , even with a good DAC (Digital to Analog Converter.. which most folks don’t own, or even know exists) sound like a cheap radio comparted to good clean vinyl on even a modest system. MOST CD PLAYERS UNDER $6-$700.00 PROBABLY DON’T HAVE A DAC BUILT IN AND MOST UNDER 1000.00 HAVE A CRAPPY ONE!

    NEWSFLASH: CD’s ARE FAR FROM DEAD !. in fact sales are growing again. People are realizing that listening to an ultra compressed streaming selection of music with a tiny earpiece is really crap. CD’s do sound better than that!. The resurgence in vinyl records continued for the 15th consecutive year. Revenues grew 61% to $1.0 billion in 2021. The last time vinyl records exceeded $1 billion was 1986. Vinyl accounted for 63% of revenues from physical formats, and 7% of total music revenues. In 2021, revenues from CDs grew 21% to $584 million, the first year-over-year increase in CD revenues since 2004.
    so
    Vinyl= $1.0 Billion UP
    CD’s= $584million UP
    Streaming = $12.4 Billion DOWN ( was $15 billion in 2000)
    THERE IS A REASON VINYL IS DOING SO WELL!
    Music, especially vinyl can vary due to pressings (how many. on what master etc.) , who did the engineering ( For those interested search on you tube for Al Schmitt.. the best!).. then also on You Tube search for Bernie Grundman interviews and see how a mastering engineer can make or break the music. It’s also important to learn where the vinyl was pressed. The are some real dogs as far as pressings go. RTI and QRP are then best pressing facilities in the USA. There are some good ones in Europe as well as Japan as well. Like anything else–you can learn all of this! Guess what –vinyl=plastic=oil= increasing prices… Don’t get me started on that.
    I recently bought near mint lp’s I wanted ( now out of print) form under 15.00 each–and a few under 10.00. You just have to know where to look!
    These days you can buy pretty decent system to play vinyl for as low as about 2500.00. It’s all relative…..The photo cartridges’ must be equal to the amp, preamp, speakers etc. You don’t want a 1500.00 cartridge( you can spend almost up to $100K) on one!) on a 350.00 turntable. You don’t want a $300 preamp working with a $15000.00 amp!. It’s all relative. I have heard really good sounding systems for under 3000.00. Think photography is crazy–well audio is worse. My cables ( and I am considered a entry level audiophile!) cost about $7500.00 !–then there is the $65.00 turntable mat ( it does make a difference by the way!)

    Kenny G has a few vinyl reissues… but I’ll be passing on those!

    Any questions folks–email me at Jack @jackgrahamphoto or check out my you tube channel “Straight talk with jack”–JG

  2. Bill Fortney says:

    Do it, as in our workshops you’ll learn a ton! While I love to pull his chain and give him a hard time, I love Jack and deeply respect his knowledge in many fields especially in photography, music and audio!
    It has been a great honor to teach along side him and learn a lot from him myself!

  3. David W says:

    Between the master tape and the vinyl, many recordings were run through equalizer systems to get the desired “sound” when the record was played. This may not have been a “flat” frequency response. This accounted for some of the differences in the vinyl and CD of the same album. An amateur radio podcast I follow had a conversation with a retired recording engineer whose job was to make the record “sound good”. The engineer told have certain artists demanded certain engineers handle their work to assure they got the sound they wanted in the final product.

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