Time for the Vinyl Revival to GET REAL

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by AudioAddict, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    It definitely isn't everyone but it's a significant portion of the population of record listeners. People here often have a skewed view of things because most people around here and other audio forums have at least halfway decent equipment. Go on social media and there are a tons of people with Crosely/LP60 type things, especially younger people. Even things that seem to make no sense, like a TT with a built in bluetooth transmitter, are more popular than a lot of folks might think. Even a record shop near me that sells reasonably priced vintage TTs and other gear had to start stocking bluetooth LP60s because people ask for them and "it's what the kids want".
     
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  2. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Sure, and my perception among my friends may be further skewed by the fact that, though not necessarily audiophiles, the friends I have who bother to own a turntable are really into music, not just casual/occasional listeners. So, something cheap off the big-box shelf was probably never a consideration for most of them, knowing they were looking for a piece of equipment and not a toy.

    I’ll also face up to the fact that none of us are young enough to be lumped in with “the kids” anymore... though I would suggest we are a prime LP-buying demographic (old enough to have worked up to having some disposable income, but young enough that we don’t have large LP collections from the pre-CD era and the collections we do have aren’t massive yet).
     
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  3. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    The bottom one looks like a building that toppled over. It is striking at first glance but I agree it's not as nice as the first building. I think a lot of it is in the execution as well. There are a lot nicer modern designs out there but they are probably all lacking in soul at least a little since they are all so precise and perfect.

    I have been on the other side of the argument from you about sound but I think recently hearing a pair of Harbeth speakers has me coming around a bit. Not that I disagreed with you; moreso that I overwieghed the importance of certain technical attributes.

    The Harbeth sound was just so natural and immediate - just beautiful really. I have come to realize that Harbeths actually measure very flat in the mids and highs. Likely many modern speakers have a boosted top end and so that sticks out. There are many other factors of course, but it seems this is a big part of the Harbeth sound.
     
  4. Mogens

    Mogens Forum Resident

    Location:
    Green Bay, Wis.
    Wow. I'm not sure I've ever seen boomer narcissism so perfectly encapsulated. Congrats. There really should be a hall of fame for this kind of thing.
     
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  5. Mogens

    Mogens Forum Resident

    Location:
    Green Bay, Wis.
    I've generally had better luck working through these issues with the label rather than the store. Try that next time.
     
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  6. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Yes, I remember bringing that up before. Those who look at stats and individual characteristics aren't listening to beauty but rather listening to sonic achievements.

    I listen to music for its beauty and want my gear to sound like it, hence Harbeth. If it genuinely moves me, that's all that counts. Numbers have no say in the matter. Either I emotionally connect to it or don't. It's that simple.
     
  7. Gaslight

    Gaslight Kokomo or My Ding-a-Ling : Shoulda been a poll

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    If you think that was a personal attack then you haven't actually had a personal attack. I'll let you know when it ramps up but it hasn't actually happened yet.

    It's a discussion, not an argument....although it sounds to me that you're the one that just wants to argue.

    I'll enjoy my 2019 Best Of's while you stew over that.
     
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  8. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Dachshund Dog Dad

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Beat me to it. Saddest post I’ve seen in ages on here.
     
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  9. Macman007

    Macman007 Forum Resident

    I have 9 shops (used and new, target, FYE, Walmart, Best Buy, local Brick and Mortar music/vinyl, monthly regional LP Fair 1st Sunday of every month) not to mention Ebay, Amazon, Discogs, Music Direct, Analogue Productions, Amoeba etc. I purchase from, and ALL will accept LP/CD returns for either exchange, refund, or store credit, depending on your desire and situation. Most of the more common titles new or used can be sourced locally at above cited locals. More esoteric expensive audiophile pressings, including multi sided 45 RPM re-issues from a single LP are typically available online only, though there are exceptions. Again, anything purchased with issues, beit warps, scratches, surface noise poor pressing quality are easily exchanged, especially from Music Direct and Amazon, who are the easiest and most flexible to deal with IME.

    I suppose I've been lucky, since 2003, I've only had to return 2 albums due to issues, one being the Pink Floyd 4 Lp box set Echos, which arrived with the spines damaged on 3 of 4 LP's (looking like the album was dropped from some distance on the spine area), the albums and inner sleeves tearing thru in the center, and Derek and the Dominos 'Layla' which recently arrived warped. Both came from Music Direct and are 17 years apart in purchasing. I was allowed to keep Echos for my trouble along with a replacement copy, Layla was exchanged after a replacement arrived, which happily remained un warped. I blame handling for the damage to Echos, and seasonal heat for the warped Layla MoFi, which I waited 2 1/2 weeks to arrive initially. For my trouble with Layla, I was issued a partial credit along with a replacement for my troubles, second day shipping at no extra charge , for my troubles and the initial the long wait. Neither issue has in any way dissuaded me from making future purchases online, and truthfully I appreciate the professional customer service I was extended. Amazon shipped me the wrong album once, again the issue was handled professionally and quickly, with a replacement arriving inside 24 hours, along with a post paid return sticker pre-addressed UPS sticker for the album I was shipped in error.

    Local shops tend to be priced a little high on new vinyl, to be expected, compared to Amazon and the bigger online sellers. FYE is the most over-priced, but they often will match Amazon's prices if I ask, the others such as Target and Walmart are priced within a dollar of Amazon, Best Buy's prices smack in between the 3. Walmart was gracious enough to exchange Led Zeppelin IV 2014 Jimmy Page Remaster double LP and Beatles Sgt Pepper 50th anniversary double LP as both had creases in the jackets, but perfect vinyl within, which is more of a case of me being picky over the jackets than anything else.

    From where I sit it's much easier to exchange vinyl with issues that back in the golden days of the 70's and 80's. No questions asked, no assumptions made or blame assigned, just a smile and exchange, credit or refund as the case may be. Prices are largely in line with what you'd expect to spend on anything compared to 30 years ago. The stores and manufacturers have to make some money, or else what is their motivation to reissue/remaster, press, ship and stock new vinyl otherwise? I'm happy to pay a dollar or 2 more than online sources for the convenience of purchasing locally versus online, that whole instant gratification thing we Gen X'ers are all known for. Quality control isn't near as bad as many folks make it out to be, and vinyl's overall pressing and sound quality for the stuff I've been buying post year 2000, is significantly better than the stuff I was buying 15 years before 2000.

    The only thing I take issue with, regarding the vinyl situation, is the greed factor, the insane prices people are asking for when the resell something they purchased a few years before which has gone out of print. People put stuff up on their shelves just for the brag factor or to look at it and never pay it. When they do chose to sell, prices are often double, triple or more than the original sale price only a matter of a couple months or years before. Beatles In Mono Vinyl box set and the individual LP's are the number one example of this type of madness. Where I was financially unable to purchase any new vinyl or gear due to my wife's health crises between 2015 and 2018, I missed out on the Mono box and several other vinyl box sets released, along with other band's or solo vinyl releases or reissue/remasters during in that time period. Additionally I wasn't able to make any gear purchases till this year, deciding to upgrade my entire analog (vinyl) front end just this Summer. Thankfully, the person who sold me my VPI Prime Signature worked with me so that I was able to afford it with most of the available upgrades. However, being able to afford much of the great releases the last 5 years or so, especially those out of print, is proving to be much more of a problem for me.

    This kind of price gouging, for both gear as well as software (vinyl, tape, CD, digital High Res,DVD/ Blu-Ray-A) is what money have been complaining about for years now. Its what keeps many newcomers out of the hobby as well as those getting into it from moving up, many opting out due to insane pricing along with that arrogant air of exclusivity that sometimes pervades the high-fi culture as a whole. If High Fi is to survive, it needs new young blood to invest in it to keep it alive. Once the 'Boomers and us GenX-er's are gone, so will be huge portion of the funds which keep things alive and growing, It's a shame so many folks are so nearsighted, only interested in what is best for them right now. This is the same attitude now all over the Muscle Car/Antique/Custom car hobby, the greedy arrogance of so-called cork sniffers, charging high 6 and 7 figure prices for automotive examples only fetching mid 5 figures at best 10-20 years ago. People desiring to get into the hobby can't afford the insane prices for the newest modern hot rods pouring forth from Detroit today either. V8 Challenger, Charger, Camaro SS, or Mustang GT's start at mid-40,000$+ and quickly rise to 90K$ and even more. Corvette, which initially was to be a budget American sports car that offered what the best Germany or Italy possessed from their 6 digit cars. Today, the price of admission for a new 'vette starts at 70K then rises quickly. Who under the age of 65, that isn't well invested or retired, collecting a huge pension, can truthfully afford these types of prices, the cars, the gear, any of it?..

    Not me, or most of my contemporaries, all of us who are now in our mid-50's and barely keeping up. It's a problem that is all over the map. I feel that the money which drives many of these hobbies, once designed to be accessible to just about anyone, are today only accessible to those well heeled, of or over a certain age, or from a certain specific demographic, which is dying out quickly,... even more so as each day comes and goes. To my mind, these things are the much larger problem than a pressing quality or where/which recording master it is sourced from. AS long as it sounds great and remains affordable to those who are interested, what else matters, really? Are we all that stuck-up that we feel that we are the only ones able and allowed to afford the pleasure of quality music in our lives? The same question should apply to the automobile analogy above? What happened to these cars being available and affordable for the lower middle class-working class, younger enthusiast? Accessable is what the Pony cars were designed to all about. Shove the biggest baddest engine under the hood,, along with a manual trans, tall gears, big tires and brakes coupled to a strong yet inexpensive lightweight chassis and body, making it financially accessible to Joe-anybody from Any Street USA. The Japanese audio gear was designed to be the same thing, an affordable high quality option for those who couldn't afford European or American Hi-Fi prices, but wanted the best quality nonetheless. This too has also disappeared from the scene today.

    My wife and I always agree on one thing, if nothing else. We both weep for the future, once we are old and gone. Things have changed drastically, and not necessarily for the better.,.. in our opinion anyway.
     
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  10. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode More fluid, more rounded, more at ease

    This pretty much mirrors my grandparents' existential despair back in the '70s.
     
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  11. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I don't know. People can get into vinyl for reasonable prices. AT 120 TT isn't that expensive and does a decent job. Don't forget many young people get hand me downs both hardware and software. There seem to be plenty of budget integrated amps and phono preamps from Yamaha and Marantz etc. that do a good job.

    Sure, if we want the hot rod equipment like the VPI Prime signature we have to pay the price.
     
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  12. Mmmark

    Mmmark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    FWIW, Socrates was equally troubled by the youth of his day, 2,500 years ago.


    "The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint.
    They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest
    and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress."

    “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.
    Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
    chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
     
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  13. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode More fluid, more rounded, more at ease

    Like Socrates, my grandparents met their end believing that the best of what the world has to offer was already in the past.
     
  14. DLD

    DLD Senior Member

    Location:
    Dallas, Tx
    I've only read a few pages of this discussion so what I suggest, as far as finding new vinyl, may well have been suggested previously. There is a forum here at Hoffman's called Coupons, Discounts, and Sales that has periodic links to, what for me at least, have been unbelievable sales. Right now there's not much going on but come the Thanksgiving-New Year's period there will be some solid deals, many bordering on steals, posted. You gotta be diligent as some only last a day or two.Some of the websites having sales will be Amazon, Wal Mart, InSound, Yep Rock, Import CDs (E-Bay store), Deep Discount, Acoustic Sounds, and a few others. Personally, I've had a blast chasing down deals thru the links provided. Coupons, Discounts & Sales
     
  15. Mmmark

    Mmmark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Did they also kick off with a self-administered hemlock nightcap?
     
  16. Sam

    Sam Senior Member

    Location:
    U.S.A.
    You stated "every third album needs to be returned" due to noise. I find that highly unlikely. What is more than likely happening is an issue with your cartridge setup or wear due to misalignment. It would also help if you clean your records, even new ones. I have been collecting and playing vinyl my whole life, and I've never had or heard of anyone stating that a THIRD of their purchases were bad. Something else is wrong in your system.
     
  17. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode More fluid, more rounded, more at ease

    This is why we have "no returns" policies now.
     
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  18. Mmmark

    Mmmark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I don't deny your point, but I agree with Sam that this is a huge problem. A corrupted supply chain that lets the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer profit from fosting crappy product on the consumer is unacceptable (although I must say that a 33.3% rejection rate sounds unrealistic). One of the main reasons I buy almost exclusively from Amazon these days is a no-questions-asked return policy. I am not interested in supporting dramatically declining QC with my hard-earned money. I feel absolutely zero guilt returning anything that doesn't meet my expectations. In fact, I hope the financial implications of more and more people doing this eventually factors into a cost-benefit decision that prompts the supply chain to collectively invest in better QC rather than absorb the loss from so many returns and discards.
    Furthermore, any brick and mortar store that doesn't stand behind the product they sell is highly unlikely to ever get my business. When the customer is always right, everybody wins. When the customer is the least important part of the chain, everybody loses. Brick and mortar stores are taking heavy hits from online giants that can consistently undersell them on a vastly larger inventory. The ONLY strategic advantage they have in attracting and retaining customers is superior customer service. Any store that expects customers to pay a premium for less convenience and less accountablility than that offered by on-line retailers deserves to go out of businesss.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  19. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode More fluid, more rounded, more at ease

    If you're returning one out of every three purchases, good for them.

    Maybe stick to CDs and give the rest of us a break.
     
  20. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I agree that I would be surprised if it’s really one in three, but if OP is truly getting this unlucky, why should he be stuck accepting defective product? If I buy something, I have a right to be satisfied with my purchase. If a record puts me out $20-30+, and it is pressed poorly, I am sending it back. OP doesn’t have a responsibility to “the rest of us” when demanding he gets what he paid for.
     
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  21. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I think the OP needs to look at his equipment/setup. Plus, cleaning properly and using an anti-static device.
     
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  22. Mmmark

    Mmmark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I am definitely not returning one in three purchases, and I even mentioned I think that is totally unrealistic. Either way, no, it's bad for them. If they lose my business, and the business of anybody else who doesn't want to get stuck with crappy product, then they are stuck with a declining client base being smacked with higher and higher prices. It's not sustainable.

    As per the other comments below, I think we can all agree that the OP has other issues if he finds fault with 33% of the records he buys. Clearly if equipment issues are affecting sound, that is his fault, and his fault only. I am not hitching my horse to his wagon other than to agree that there does seem to be an increasing proportion of records sold that come out of the shrinkwrap in compromised condition: warps, scuffs, non-fill, etc....). I have returned maybe 1 in 20 records personally, just FYI. I fix warps at home and I don't care if the scuffs are inaudible, so that number reflects records that have one or more audible defects.
    Even with a rejection rate of 5%, I am not inclined to bear the financial burden of supporting an industry that is OK with such a low level of QC on principle alone. One advantage of a free-market economy lies in giving the customer the maximum allowable freedom in how they spend their money. I like brick and mortar stores and prefer to support them when I get the chance. I shop based on value, not price, and I am therefore happy to pay a bit more if I get a bit more - more advice, more support, more interaction, more service. I am never going to pay more for LESS though, and sticking me with the problem of a dud record is the worst way to earn my business, and the surest way to lose it.

    I am not sure what CDs have to do with anything....
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  23. Ned Bode

    Ned Bode More fluid, more rounded, more at ease

    I never clean new vinyl purchases and I don't have any anti-static devices, yet I rarely have any problems with new vinyl.
    I just looked at the last 20 new vinyl purchases I've made - all this year - and I have returned none. I can't even name one of those that had any kind of defect, be it mastering or manufacturing. Beyond that, my experience with vinyl defects in recent years is about on par with what it was in the '70s & '80s.
    The OP stated: "Always looking for a reason to buy new audio stuff, began assembling an all-analog vinyl system 6 weeks ago. There is good news and bad news...".
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  24. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Your system is probably set up properly. I can tell you anti static devices get rid of a lot of the light crackling sound.
    Maybe some people have expectations that are too high. I'm not returning a record if I hear a pop or two, or some crackling between tracks.
     
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  25. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Dachshund Dog Dad

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Haven't had to return a new record in over two years. Sure a few may have been a bit warped, but nothing my table and cartridge can't handle. A couple albums have had some stray pops and ticks, but only noticeable during quiet passages.

    I do try to research pressings before I buy and avoid certain pressing facilities/companies. I'm sure that helps. But in my experience, the hand wringing over new vinyl quality seems a bit overblown.
     
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