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Full Version: Why vinyl will remain dead...or comatose..
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The unscientific poll that I had carried out about three weeks ago led to a 3:1 proportion of people who said that they could be happy with a system that cost less than a Majik DS-M with M109s. A couple of folks (stunta and Vereina) indicated that they could get away with systems costing less than that using well-chosen gear. The interesting thing is that at no point can one get the same level of quality playback with a vinyl setup that one can with an entry level digital front end. While Vereina did propose the option of a used turntable, it needs to be then compared to a used DS system. Granted the used market has some great values but, if we consider new equipment alone, digital on the cheap is probably going to give a more listenable system than vinyl on the cheap (all things being the same), whereas digital at it's most expensive has yet to reach the peaks (pardon the pun) that vinyl can at that level. The interesting thing would be to figure out where the inflection point of the two lies and what one could get for that amount of expenditure.

(2012-04-03 07:13)linnrd Wrote: [ -> ]The interesting thing is that at no point can one get the same level of quality playback with a vinyl setup that one can with an entry level digital front end.

Where did this come from??? I completely disagree! My Rega RP-1 is $500 USD or so with a couple of upgrades. My whole bedroom system cost me less than $3K USD. The only s/h item in this rig is the preamp. It sounds amazing and with some really good vinyl recordings, it even sounds better than my Linn system! (I know, blasphemy but these are exceptions like Adele's 21 for instance)

I have heard an MDSi driving Majik 109s at the dealers'. Now how much is that system? Around 6K? It is very good but does it blow my tube system out of the water? I don't think so.

You might think I am smoking crack. I am not. I have heard a lot of different systems thanks to my friendly dealer and my own trials and errors. The law of diminishing returns takes a steep rising curve right at about the $2k-4k mark.

All in my not-so-humble opinion of course Tongue
I gave up on vinyl years ago as the quality of pressings was allowed to slip. I have to say that I find myself very susceptable to the pops and crackles. Now I know a lot of people will say that as your system improves you become less and less aware of them but I am afraid that didn't work for me.

At one point I was paying £5.00 for a single album and CD's were over £10.00. I used to by 5 or 6 albums a week. But it became less possible over the years to get music on vinyl. Shops were made up with CD's. Profit margins increased, returns reduced dramatically and the convenience of CDs was appealing to the general public (probably most were buying very substandard pre-recorded Cassette tapes). So the incentive for record companies to even maintain standards of the vinyl LP was low.

Now, the general public buy MP3 downloads or share illegally with others. I still buy CDs but I can't play them (no CD player anymore), just rip them and then the CD gets stored away. I buy HD downloads where available.

Yes I loved all the "ritual" associated with vinyl but now I can't be bothered. I am much more likely to build up a playlist of various artists during a session than playing a complete album and not having to get up every 15-20 minutes to change the LP appeals to the couch potato in me.

I once payed £26.00 (a long time ago) for a Sheffield Direct Cut of Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker. OK music but what a quality the pressings were. Now vinyl, bought from specialist suppliers cost £20 or so and you know that as you play the LP will gradually deteriorate (have you ever seen the way the vinyl melts under the pressure of a stylus and re-solidifies behind it). In 20 years time after 100's of plays my rip's will be as good as they are now.

So, no, nothing would persuade me to go back to vinyl as a main source.

However, none of the above will mean anything to all you vinyl junkies. Tongue
Grim very interesting :-)
I think you will find vinyl will be around for many more years yet isn't dead at all.
(2012-04-03 17:34)Dr_Eddie Wrote: [ -> ]I think you will find vinyl will be around for many more years yet isn't dead at all.

I agree 100% Cool
While sound quality may be the primary driver for audiophiles, I'd suspect that's not the case for most. Given the prevalence of MP3 (and fast food - but that's another story), it seems most people are driven by cost and convenience and not quality. It's only in rare circumstances, where there's a social trophy to be had for an expense that people will freely spend; as is the case with cars, big flatscreen televisions, and Apple or Harley Davidson products.

Given that vinyl has a cachet with the hipsters, dj's, and even a certain designer retro-coolness, I'd suspect a number of people buy an analog set-up, just so they can say they have one. That 'cool' factor will keep vinyl around - even if there weren't audophiles driving the top-end of the equipment markets.

In fact, I'm not sure the resurgence in the vinyl market has much to do with sound quality at all (audiophile pressings excepted, of course).
I've thought about this thread and to my surprise I find I agree with the OP. Traditionally I'd have been right there saying a half decent £300 turntable would outperform just about any digital source. But my recent disappointing experience with a Rega P3-24 - where I discovered I prefered to listen to my CD rips through the 'DS' type media player in my preamp - has led me to conclude that digital replay has advanced to the point where you need a pretty decent turntable to outdo it. Hence my imminent LP12 purchase.

Incidentally from my limited knowledge of what is going on, the creation of digital sources that get to buffer the data with the inherent jitter advantages etc (so, DS type sources and buffering CD players), seems to have been the moment where replay took a big leap forward in musicality and 'natural-ness'. Who would have thought that SQ was on those 16/44.1 discs all that time.....

So yes, if I only had a few hundred quid now I would be getting my hands on some sort of DS type player.
My analogue source is "less expensive" than any of my digital ones, and it outperforms them.
Despite all the disparate views here, I find I agree with pretty much everyone. Great post JBC.
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