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Music Hardware

Direct-to-Vinyl Recording Makes a Comeback (Video) 166

Posted by Roblimo
from the round-and-round-the-little-stylus-goes dept.
For many decades, gramophone records (the black vinyl discs in Grandma's attic) were made by cutting grooves directly into an acetate disc, then making a mold from that "master" and "pressing records." Nowadays, of course, we use digital recording software on our computers or even on our mobile phones. Vinyl? Strictly for fogies and maybe a few audiophiles who think analog recordings have a depth and warmth that CDs and MP3s lack. Naturally, SXSW is a haven for these folks, and among them Tim Lord found Wesley Wolfe and two German compatriots from vinylrecording.com, busily demonstrating their vinyl recording system, which is sort of the gramophone record equivalent of print on demand. Lots of background music in the video makes the voices a bit hard to hear; some might prefer the transcription -- although those who do will lose out on watching the vinyl recording machine in action. Either way. Or both. Up to you.

Tim: Wesley, we're at the Vinylrecorder.com booth at South By Southwest. What are we here for? What is this?

Wesley: Well, this is a vinyl lathe where you can make your own vinyl record from any audio source direct to vinyl.

Tim: Why would someone want to do that?

Wesley: Well, I am an independent musician. I put out my own vinyl records before. I have pressed like 300 of them, I’ve sold 50; and I am planning to move on to another project and I had a closet full of records. So this was my way of putting out my records in a limited quantity. I hand-make it. And I can move on to other projects afterwards.

Tim: Is that the way to build it?

Wesley: That’s what made me fall in love with it. Yes.

Tim: Right. So what’s different about working with vinyl than say with a CD?

Wesley: The music is alive. For CDs, so you know Super Mario brothers, the first Super Mario he had a square nose. That’s what your audio looks like in 16-bit format. So what vinyl’s actually doing is stretching those square waves and rounding them out.

Tim: Now you are here at South By Southwest, because you got these couple of guys from outside the country.

Wesley: Right. I am here with Souri and Fritz. They are the masterminds behind the machine.

Tim: And they are behind the machine.

Wesley: Right. Correct.

Tim: So, what’s their story?

Wesley: Well I bought the machine about three years ago, I went to Germany, did the training, came back. I was able to do exactly what I wanted to do with the machine, and they had I mean, they couldn’t go to South By and they were curious about it. I was their contact here in the US, and so we came here last year, and now we are back again, because last year was such a hit for us.

Tim: You said you went to Germany for training, how complicated is it to set up a vinyl machine?

Wesley: Well, I have no technical training at all. No mechanical engineering experience. So it is a craft and we get included in this is a day of training.

Tim: And the price is €3200 right now?

Wesley: Right. €3200. Right now in the US, that is about $4000.

Tim: Is it hard to do? There are a lot of things, complicated machinery.

Wesley: Oh no. This is the machine from my house. I brought this here, I drove it here from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Tim: Usually in 2013, you see people going from vinyl to digital formats, here you are doing the opposite, you’ve got a CD player here that’s feeding music over to a vinyl cutting lathe.

Wesley: Right.

Tim: It is kind of a _____ right now.

Wesley: Right. The world is in balance now.

Tim: Okay. And behind you, you showed me before, you’ve got the stuff, can you explain where that comes from?

Wesley: This is the outcut. This is the music. The physical sound cloud.

Tim: That is the actual detritus from the grooves.

Wesley: Yeah, the “swarf”.

Tim: It is called what?

Wesley: “Swarf”.

Tim: Interesting. Okay. You had to learn German while you were doing your training?

Wesley: Right.

Tim: Can you walk us through the parts of the machine a little bit?

Wesley: So the master of the machine is the cutter head, that’s how the audio gets printed or cut into the vinyl.

Tim: And the vinyl itself, is it ordinary vinyl that you get if you think about records is it the same material what you get in Presto record?

Wesley: No it is like Coca Cola and Pepsi. It is his own secret recipe.

Tim: So this is not only this is the razor and blades, what do the other blades cost? The price to get the vinyl blanks?

Wesley: Okay. Normally the sapphire is how you would cut a lacquer, an acetate. And that is how you normally would get a dubplate is it’s like finger nail polish soft, so you get 50 plates of a lacquer acetate and that would run you maybe $100 to get one cut. These blanks you can cut a 180-gram record for about five bucks. And the stylus is not sapphire it is diamond.

Tim: So that part you don’t get to replace very often if it is made out of diamond?

Wesley: The sapphire gets about 10 hours of cutting, and the diamond will get up to 300 hours.

Tim: How durable are the resulting records?

Wesley: Oh they are just as good as my vinyl records at home.In fact, I have got like some that were cut in the ‘60s. Apparently, my grandkids will be able to listen to the records I cut.

Tim: When you listen to these at home, what do you play these back on?

Wesley: I have an Audio Technica turntable and I also have a Technics 1200 ___ .

Tim: Do you find that vinyl really is undergoing a renaissance right now?

Wesley: Oh yeah, yeah, like I am backed up with my business until June right now for cutting.

Tim: How about ____ machines?

Wesley: Yeah, but they have been at this a long time, so they are a little bit more organized than me. So they have a system in place, that if you get in contact with them, they can have something available for you pretty soon.

Tim: There is not a lot of wait time?

Wesley: There is, there is a mailing list, so get it while you can.

Tim: And where does this stuff go? It’s all over the world?

Wesley: All over the world. We’ve had people from Australia come all the way to Germany.

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Direct-to-Vinyl Recording Makes a Comeback (Video)

Comments Filter:
  • Yeah! (Score:2, Funny)

    Can I listen to it on my mp3 player?
    • Re:Yeah! (Score:4, Funny)

      by marcello_dl (667940) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:11PM (#43275241) Homepage Journal

      Can I listen to it on my mp3 player?

      Sure! get a turntable, connect it to the phono input of a mixer, connect the smallish cable to the ground pin near the phono input, connect the output of the mixer to some amplifier or powered speakers.

      Put the vinyl on the turntable, put the mp3 player on the floor, climb on the mp3 player and listen.

      Voila'.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday March 25, 2013 @03:35PM (#43274909) Journal

    It's disgusting how so-called 'audiophiles' can bear to listen to music that has been tainted by electricity. Back in my day, we used Edison Cylinders, recorded entirely by the soundwaves emitted by the performance! (It is actually a neat process to watch, a horn concentrates the incoming sound and a sharp stylus attached to the diaphragm cuts the groove in the cylinder, 100% passive, except for the guy who brushes away the wax shavings)

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Reminded of this guy... [youtube.com]

      Hipster level infinite.
    • by jythie (914043)
      You know, it would not surprise me if there was a community into doing so, and that would be kinda awesome ^_^
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:45PM (#43275647) Homepage Journal

      Mister fancy pants with your lazy wax. We just listened to people play instruments!
      Who is into Vinyl today.
      Hipsters.
      Now get your plaid pant wear butt and $300 backpack on your fixie bike and get out of here.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Monday March 25, 2013 @03:41PM (#43274967) Homepage Journal

    There was another round of direct-to-disk back in the 70's, and who knows how many others, before and after that.

    I bought a Sheffield disk of Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" back in the mid 70's, and there were other disks in their lineup. Here is someone else's on ebay now - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prokofiev-Romeo-Juliet-Excerpts-LP-Sheffield-Lab-Direct-Disc-Leinsdorf-LAPO-/380457368606 [ebay.com]

  • Collectors (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It's the superior medium for collectors. Some of you collect old game cartridges right? Do they feel good in your hand? Sure they do. I can use an emulator for that.

    • by jythie (914043)
      Well, there is something to be said for the fun of ritualistic engagement. I kinda laugh at the people who claim that vinyl is superior to digital, but I have no complaints against the crowd that likes working with the old tech because they enjoy it.

      And I have to admit my own vice... vintage camera lenses. Technologically inferior to the nice autofocused image stabilized coated lenses of today.. but they are still fun.
  • But I've seen on the net two other organizations, UK and Italy, that produce one-off vinyls. There was also a home vinyl carving station from vestax (vrx 2000) but I guess vynil mastering needs a LOT more care than cd mastering. Unless you like to see needles jumping.

    • but I guess vynil mastering needs a LOT more care than cd mastering. Unless you like to see needles jumping.

      I suspect that the opposite is true: Vinyl cutting is definitely on the fiddly side of of things you would actually want to do in the field; but it can be done. Cutting CD pits in the field is sufficiently difficult that it just isn't done. Dye/laser based systems are cheap as chips; but to the best of my knowledge no mechanical pit-cutter has ever been used, certainly not in rooms with normal sized dust and crud.

    • by Tapewolf (1639955)

      But I've seen on the net two other organizations, UK and Italy, that produce one-off vinyls. There was also a home vinyl carving station from vestax (vrx 2000) but I guess vynil mastering needs a LOT more care than cd mastering. Unless you like to see needles jumping.

      The VRX was very expensive, had a frequency response up to about 12KHz and a maximum of about 15 minutes a side. ('Momentary Lapse of Reason' was about 26 min/side). I was curious about the idea of making one-off LPs of my music, but once I saw the specs I realised why it was discontinued.

  • Depth and Warmth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday March 25, 2013 @03:47PM (#43275009)

    Are generally found to be distortion and a roll off of high frequencies when one bothers to take apart the actual music reproduction.

    Some people have become accustomed to these artifacts and so prefer them.

    The only real antidote is to go to live music performances to hear what they really sound like.

    I'd recommend that for people used to modern pop recordings too. I think many would be shocked to hear what they are missing in the horribly compressed and otherwise doctored up recordings that are sold today.

    • by Shinobi (19308)

      Indeed.

      Even though I'm not religious, I try to go to various church concerts here in Stockholm, just for the acoustics, and for the organs....

      There's NO recording equipment that can capture the full majesty of a huge organ in a church or cathedral. Then there's the mixing and if direct-to-online, encoding....

      I fear for when the current Ableton Live generation is in charge of the studios, and not just "musicians" =(

      • I was fortunate to have been part of a music education program in High School which involved going to the Boston Symphony Saturday afternoons.

        If the fossilization theory is right, I fossilized around something pretty good as Symphony Hall in Boston is generally considered to have the best acoustics in the New World, and in the top 5 world-wide.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_Hall,_Boston [wikipedia.org]

        • by Shinobi (19308)

          I've visited Stockholms Konserthus, Berwaldhallen and Operan a number of times, and yes, it's a special feeling to experience music in concert halls. Even some metal can be really enhanced there(Such as Therion for example... Or Apocalyptica)

          I don't subscribe to that fossilization theory though, because my taste in music has changed with time and I'm in my mid-thirties.

      • by Gordonjcp (186804)

        There's NO recording equipment that can capture the full majesty of a huge organ in a church or cathedral. Then there's the mixing and if direct-to-online, encoding....

        Exactly. The dubstep kiddies are Doing It Wrong. If you want bass, you need a pipe organ.

        • by Shinobi (19308)

          Oh man, the gut feeling when the organ rumbles....

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            Every year I subject myself to the Christmas Show at Macy's (formerly Wanamaker's) in Philly just to hear the organ.

            (Yes, I know they do regular recitals...)

          • by xenobyte (446878)

            The pipe organ is the only instrument able to play a warm deep bass where only the harmonics extend up into the audible range. Several organs have had pipes producing clean notes below 10 Hz, including the infamous "brown note" which is supposed to be around 7 Hz. The test Mythbusters performed to bust this myth used only a clean frequency (sinus tone), not a real tone with harmonics. They also did the test outside, not in a closed space with echo and reverberation.

        • by Shinobi (19308)

          To further bring out the point about what I fear in regards to the Ableton Live generation: So-called "epic trailer" music, that is so generic and bland that is all the rage on many esports streams to give a break from the dubshit...

          Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine and similar crap.... I mean, it's so bland and overboosted that it becomes... yawnworthy...

      • heh-heh. that was cool

      • by imsabbel (611519)

        I would phrase this different.

        There IS recording equipment that CAN get the full majestity of a huge organ in a church or cathedral.... its the PLAYBACK equipment and venure that will never be able replicate the sound.

    • by Nimey (114278) on Monday March 25, 2013 @03:59PM (#43275121) Homepage Journal

      Your real audiophile keeps a can of Monster Air with precisely-tuned isotope and pollutant counts, and opens it whenever he goes to a concert.

      • after the right burritos (or vindaloos, whatever your pref is), you can create all the Monster Air(tm) you want.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday March 25, 2013 @03:59PM (#43275123) Journal

      Some people have become accustomed to these artifacts and so prefer them.

      My personal theory is that (most) people's musical tastes, both in terms of medium and in terms of genre, tend to fossilize around the time that they either graduate high school or first get laid. Once fossilized, any vices and inconveniences of the medium are imbued with a warm sentimentality and the preferred genre is enshrined as real music, as compared to the outdated stuff listened to by those who came before them, and the noise listened to by damn kids these days.

      • by u38cg (607297)
        Congratulations, you're not far off. Humans use music as a group bonding tool, and once we form groups (goths, emos, punks, indie...) with close-knit social bonds, the need for the music is no longer as strong and it fades over time.
      • by gTsiros (205624)

        Hm.

        how does graduation, or fornication, affect perception of sound?

        ever since i constructed the 200 L, 12" full-range speakers, i can hear details i could never hear before. MP3? screw that, i can tell if a cd has been properly recorded. metal? pointless. pop? even more so. it sounds clear and perfect, but it is like artificial food flavoring. Acoustic jazz (no electric guitar, eg)? yes. full orchestra? sweet sweet fulfillment.

        I had sex 10 years ago for the first time and graduated high school 15 years ago,

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Fossilization of that sort has little to do with those milestones, it's just that at those points people tend to correlate to a drop in pressure to be open minded about new experiences.

          For example, once one gets married, their partner will have a pretty substantial say in what activities they can try in the future and won't be likely to expose one to the broad range of ideas that a new girlfriend would.

          And for people who don't move on to college, one isn't likely to be forced to be exposed to all the new mu

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      The only real antidote is to go to live music performances to hear what they really sound like. I'd recommend that for people used to modern pop recordings too. I think many would be shocked to hear what they are missing in the horribly compressed and otherwise doctored up recordings that are sold today.

      Except that at least for some acts lip-synching a la Milli Vanilli is now the rule rather than the exception, so depending on the group the live concert may just be a really loud playback.

      • And then you get the bands who decide think that "Loud" is the best way to hear their music - Displaying nothing of the musical dynamics that you may hear on their studio recordings.

    • by acoustix (123925)

      Are generally found to be distortion and a roll off of high frequencies when one bothers to take apart the actual music reproduction.

      Some people have become accustomed to these artifacts and so prefer them.

      The only real antidote is to go to live music performances to hear what they really sound like.

      I'd recommend that for people used to modern pop recordings too. I think many would be shocked to hear what they are missing in the horribly compressed and otherwise doctored up recordings that are sold today.

      While I generally agree with your statement, many of the modern live pop bands do the same thing live that they do on recordings. It's a shame that the live performances are just as doctored as the recordings are.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I'd recommend that for people used to modern pop recordings too. I think many would be shocked to hear what they are missing in the horribly compressed and otherwise doctored up recordings that are sold today.

      That's because over compression and doctoring are the norm, really I think it's more of a cause that a person knows that in life there is no crisp clearness, it's everything around you that makes music, or even talking warm and have depth. You remove that and you remove what makes it unique. I suppose someone should come up with an audio version of the uncanny valley, it's really the same thing.

    • by houghi (78078)

      I recommend you do not mess with what others prefer.

      Why give people an 'antidote'? They prefer it that way.

      When I go and listen to live music, I miss a LOT more in quality then when I listen to a record. I am not sitting or standing in the right position according to how the music boxes are standing. The sound person was off. There are people singing along with the song. I am snogging a girl. I might even order a beer during the highlight of the evening.

      Music is not about the quality of the recording. It is

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Why give people an 'antidote'? They prefer it that way.

        Personally I'm willing to let sleeping dogs lie. But when the dog wakes up and starts spewing pseudo scientific crap about how MY choice is inferior, it's time to start smashing egos.

      • by Legion303 (97901)

        "Music is not about the quality of the recording. It is about the emotion that is brings and the memories that it feeds."

        Thank you.

        When the music transcends the medium, it doesn't matter if it sounds like cats being fed through a wood chipper. If it moves you, that's good enough.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Are generally found to be distortion and a roll off of high frequencies when one bothers to take apart the actual music reproduction.

      Correct. Tubes distort "harmonically" when overdriven (which happens easily and often). It's one reason why tubes are generally preferred for audio effects boxes because overdriving them is what you want, and what comes out sounds good and doesn't make your listeners want to rip their ears off.

      Transistors are much better as long as they stay in the linear region of operation.

      • by NoMaster (142776)

        "Vinyl's an interesting case - there's something to be said about its distortions, but it's also because of the limits of mastering which resulted in the loudness wars not happening to it. (Note: it's possible to have dynamic-range-compressed masters sent to Vinyl, in which case they sound just as awful as the CD)"

        Errr... you do realise that the "loudness wars" began before the Age of the CD, don't you? Over-compression was a common discussion point in the audio engineering trade & audiophile magazine

    • by Jonner (189691)

      Are generally found to be distortion and a roll off of high frequencies when one bothers to take apart the actual music reproduction.

      Some people have become accustomed to these artifacts and so prefer them.

      The only real antidote is to go to live music performances to hear what they really sound like.

      I'd recommend that for people used to modern pop recordings too. I think many would be shocked to hear what they are missing in the horribly compressed and otherwise doctored up recordings that are sold today.

      By definition, anything that differs between the original sound recording and the reproduction is distortion of some kind. As you say, some people consider certain kinds of distortion desirable. What the "audiophiles" that prefer vinyl don't seem to understand is that the distortion they desire doesn't have to come from the playback device any more. It would work just as well to run everything through a turntable during mastering and digitize the result for a high quality, dynamic medium like CD. Then, they

  • Back to bad times (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Airon (108830) on Monday March 25, 2013 @03:55PM (#43275083)

    As a professional recording, editing and mixing engineer, all I can say is NO THANK YOU.

    For those who place a premium on scratchy, error-prone, expensive, one-time and short recordings this might be neat. There are lots of reasons we started using tape in the late 40s and early 50s in the music recording industry, and loads of reasons we're recording digitally now.

    Quality, speed, cost. A direct-to-disc recording system ain't it on any of those fronts.

    • Re:Back to bad times (Score:4, Interesting)

      by petsounds (593538) on Monday March 25, 2013 @07:59PM (#43277329)

      Digital has nothing to do with this -- this is for listeners who still prefer a physical product to hold.

      As a recording engineer, you should know that tape machines are a PITA in terms of maintenance and upkeep. Not something your average indie band has the money/skills/space to keep around in working order. And good-quality tape is harder to find these days. This vinyl system, if it works as well as they say it does, allows an artist to do a small run of high-quality physical products. 180g vinyl is top quality, assuming the transfer is good. This is a great thing for indie artists. Think of it as craft beer for musicians.

  • Totally worth doing! Now if only there were some way of playing that analog record with fidelity anything even remotely approaching a dollar store cd player. Even the most expensive record player has measurable wow and flutter, and driving a needle through vinyl grooves immediately degrades the sound. What's the point of this again?

  • A while back I was looking at an advertisement for a medication used to treat people with a bladder problem. In the fine print it said that in clinical trials, 79% of the people who took this medication reported an improvement in their bladder problem, compared to 49% who reported an improvement after taking a placebo. Half the people who took a placebo claimed they got better.

    These must be the same people who believe that vinyl LPs " have a depth and warmth that CDs and MP3s lack"

    • by Jonner (189691)

      A while back I was looking at an advertisement for a medication used to treat people with a bladder problem. In the fine print it said that in clinical trials, 79% of the people who took this medication reported an improvement in their bladder problem, compared to 49% who reported an improvement after taking a placebo. Half the people who took a placebo claimed they got better.

      These must be the same people who believe that vinyl LPs " have a depth and warmth that CDs and MP3s lack"

      Indeed, the placebo effect is well documented in scientific studies. What's really crazy is that in health and music experience, sometimes perception is reality. Maybe we should just let the "audiophiles" remain blissfully ignorant while we spend much less money listening to CDs and FLACs.

  • Gullible Moron! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by t4ng* (1092951) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:02PM (#43275169)

    "...the first Super Mario he had a square nose. That’s what your audio looks like in 16-bit format. What vinyl’s actually doing is stretching those square waves and rounding them out..."

    "Well, I have no technical training at all. No mechanical engineering experience."

    Yes, and it shows. I wonder if he thinks black and white kinescope recordings from the 50's have more warmth and depth than digital HDTV.

    • Tim: Usually in 2013, you see people going from vinyl to digital formats, here you are doing the opposite, you’ve got a CD player here that’s feeding music over to a vinyl cutting lathe.

      Believe what you want about vinyl records, but recording on vinyl something coming out of CD player goes against any logic he could try to follow.

    • by Saffaya (702234)

      I don't know what the kinescope you refer to is, but France had black and white HD (737i) in 1949 and until 1983 :

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_high-definition_television_system [wikipedia.org]

      My point is, do not belittle accomplishments of the past just because they are from the past.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        I don't know what the kinescope you refer to is, but France had black and white HD (737i) in 1949 and until 1983 :

        Kinescope is a fancy way of saying 'pointing a film camera at a TV screen'. You can see the picture quality it produces on old black and white Doctor Who shows from the BBC.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:04PM (#43275185)

    So I can ignore it?

  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:25PM (#43275367)
    I'm holding out for 3d printed records.
  • While I too prefer the sound of a vinyl sometimes, he is full of s*it, comparing it to a 16-bit mario game. Someone should introduce him to Nyquist-Shannon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist%E2%80%93Shannon_sampling_theorem [wikipedia.org]
  • by steveha (103154) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:32PM (#43275459) Homepage

    One of my favorite albums was recorded "direct to disk", with a vinyl cutting machine recording the performance live, and the band playing each record side straight through in one set. (The album was James Newton Howard and Friends.)

    But here's the thing: they also ran a digital recorder, and the CD was made from the clean digital recording. Then they mastered the CD properly, and it's a very nice CD. I don't think it would be improved by a less-clean recording process.

    Oh, my. It's been re-issued [sheffieldlab.com], with a new master made from the direct to disc vinyl recording! So it looks like Sheffield Labs thinks it is improved by using a less-clean recording process. No thanks, I'll keep my clean digital copy.

    There is exactly one good thing about vinyl recordings: they make it impossible to really over-gain the music to where the wave forms are mangled by hard-clipping. But the alternative is to make a digital copy and just, you know, don't over-gain it.

    As with tube amplifiers, there is distortion associated with vinyl records that some people like. The solution is to make a digital filter that simulates this distortion. I helped write such a filter, and I actually like using it when I listen to music with headphones. But I don't want this sort of distortion impressed forever upon the music at the time of recording!

    We have the technology to just make a clean copy of the artist's performance. Once that is done, the album can be mastered, and remastered. Heck, record it with a clean digital process and then carve it into vinyl if you want to... just keep the clean digital copy around, so that someday you can change your mind and release a version without the analog distortion.

  • by Niris (1443675) on Monday March 25, 2013 @04:38PM (#43275559)
    This article makes people who listen to vinyl sound pretentious as all get out. I have a decent sized collection of vinyl records that I listen to daily, but that's mainly because I won a pretty sweet turntable and stereo set. MP3 has its place, like in the car and whatnot, but I do enjoy just putting on a record and listening to it from start to finish as well. I also enjoy owning the physical records and going through the case artwork, etc. A couple of my Floyd and Jethro Tull albums have photo books in them. I guess the point is who cares what form your music takes? If you enjoy it, go for it. If not, that's cool too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Airon (108830)

      Playing a vinyl album requires taking it out of its cover, placing it carefully on the turn table, maybe dusting it off with a special long brush and lifting the arm up to the vinyl(or use some automatic system you rich person you). Then you might sit there with the open jacket covers that are almost as large as a 24 inch monitor and liste to it front to back.

      That process does give the experience some gravity, as opposed to flipping a piece of shiny plastic in to an open tray of a CD/DVD/Blueray player, or

  • Hearing the difference between 128 and 164 kbit/s, between Vinyl and
    CD, between Klipsch speakers and B&W speakers -- it's all in you mind.

    To NOT know is to enjoy unimpeded. So yes, give me vinyl; just don't
    tell me.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday March 25, 2013 @08:18PM (#43277465)

    "Warmth" and "Depth" are actually known as "distortion".

  • Electric recording has a harsh sound that can't compare with the human warmth of direct, acoustically-recorded 78-rpm shellac.

    Although direct acoustical recording has a peaky response, the peaks occur in just the right places to make the sound richer.

    There is no upper frequency cutoff at all. Logically, ultrasonic frequencies must move the recording stylus and make some impression on the disk, an impression that can be heard even if it can't be seen or measured. These homeopathic doeses of ultra-high-freque

  • TEN YEARS AGO!

    This news is about as current as 9/11. Double pressed vinal records have been in my local music store for at least the last 10 years,and I first heard about them at least 15 years ago. Turntables have never stopped being manufactured and there have always been specialist high end audio shops selling them, along with valve amps.

  • I think people are forgetting that while a newly-pressed vinyl album may _sound_ great on first playback, you're forgetting that being a mechanical storage medium, vinyl records suffer from the following problems:

    1. The record and the needle will wear out from physical contact.
    2. If the record center hole is not perfectly centered, you get unpleasant "wowing" effect.
    3. The surface of a vinyl record scratches rather easily.
    4. The signal-to-noise ratio of a vinyl record is about 55-60 db, far below the 90+ db

    • I've listened to a DVD Audio disc and the audio quality is _phenomenal_, especially the crystal-clear treble playing back high notes on a piano, a piccolo or cymbals.

      In your mind only. Or it was differently mastered than the CD. CD quality is perfect for human hearing. Higher bitrates and frequencies achieve nothing as you can't hear it anyway. DVD-A or SACD may be better for dogs though. Or bats.

      • by MtViewGuy (197597)

        Actually, the higher bit rates have the advantage that treble frequencies don't sound "harsh" like they do on a Compact Disc. As such, musical instruments with a lot of treble frequency energy like a piccolo or cymbals actually sound like the real thing.

  • for stuff to sell to audiophiles/phools. There is at least one company out there that will record stuff to Edison cylinders for you if you don't mind paying for it.

    Like most junk aimed at audio nut community, its market is limited by the exorbitant prices charged and the small number of afflicted who have the means to indulge their disease. This, like so many other audio trinkets and totems, will disappear quietly without anyone noticing.

  • Flanders and Swann nailed it in the 1950s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fJmmDkvQyc [youtube.com]

    Disclaimer - I will admit to having owned an analogue Linn LP12//Naim 250 system with a lot of the assossiated goodies. It did sound better.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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