Worth it for me Getting into Vinyl?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Noonie, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. Noonie

    Noonie Exploring music is a gift Thread Starter

    Toronto, Canada
    The music
    - already have most of the music I want on CD or iTunes
    - I am, however, continuing to explore jazz as a genre, so I don't own much...definitely room to acquire more; and I like discovering music (rock/alternative bands I've always known of but didn't listen to; songs from bands I liked but previously overlooked)
    - in the last year I've been buying more cd's (great bargains)...I can simply continue to go this way and avoid vinyl altogether
    - i listen about 40-60 minutes a day in the car (music on iPhone), walking around my neighbourhood with some good headphones (2hrs a week), and where I keep my audio equipment (winter hour a day, summer a few hours a week)

    The equipment
    - I don't own a turntable, and if I get one I don't want a super cheap one (would get at least something along the lines of Rega Planar 1, likely the 2 (darn black friday sales suckering me in!)
    - I'm not a collector and I don't suffer from upgradeitus with anything I'm interested in (I research a lot up front, purchase and then stick with it for a long time)
    - my room is setup perfect right now, adding a turntable means I would likely get a small table to hold it, with built in vinyl storage

    - I do like the idea of research (not from a collector perspective), spending time in record stores, talking to staff and other fans of music, searching the bins for anything that may be new or interesting, or pieces I'm missing; or, spending time on the internet learning, absorbing information about music...which seems a good fit with vinyl (not saying it has to go hand-in-hand with vinyl, but seems to, no?)
    - pretty sure I will 'not' be crate digging at shows, hitting garage sales, and driving hours to chase a record...that's not me (maybe when I'm older, just don't have the time right now)

    I know a lot of vinyl enthusiasts out there are long time at the game, but for anyone that sounds like me, maybe a few years ago...what do you think? Thanks for your input :)
  2. tmsorosk

    tmsorosk MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    You'll need lots of money and room.
    Got out of it a couple years ago after decades.
    BRODNATION, jusbe, Fruff76 and 5 others like this.
  3. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    Short answer - nope.
    LA2019, BRODNATION, OldSoul and 4 others like this.
  4. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Mid South
    If I were you I would go to a local dealer or friends that have analog systems and listen carefully to see if you would be interested in taking the plunge. Whether or not vinyl sounds better than digital is something only you can decide on.
    mcd4959 and BRODNATION like this.
  5. The Pinhead


  6. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Go listen to a friend's system. Go hear some less popular jazz records. Figure out if you really want to spend the money and time and have the space for records and so on. Odds are it won't be worth it for you.

    If you are into CDs, lots of jazz to explore on that format. Small labels and especially labels out of Japan are doing less well known reissues you won't find elsewhere.

    Regarding record store clerks, for the most part they aren't like they were even back in the 90s. A good, knowledgeable clerk is an exception, not the rule. Most of them now are just hipster kids that can't look up from the computer screen unless you are buying something and ready to pay. They're too busy listing records on Discogs or eBay and pricing stock for the store. Customers in stores are a lot less friendly nowadays too, IMHO.
    bug2362, bluesky, nosliw and 3 others like this.
  7. Paul Chang

    Paul Chang Forum Old Boy, Former Senior Member Has-Been

    A record collector always needs more space for storage.
    In Japan's major cities such as Tokyo, real estate is very expensive and most people can't afford modest size homes. I heard that in the LP era, records were often traded on the used market and there was a thriving rental business.
    bluesky likes this.
  8. Paul Chang

    Paul Chang Forum Old Boy, Former Senior Member Has-Been

    If you have the money and the space, why stop at vinyl? Go for reel-to-reel tapes, too!
  9. It depends on what you listen to and what you listen to it with. After listening to all the clean-sounding CD's, with vinyl, you will have to get used to the ticks and pops and the wow effect from records pressed off-center and wavy playing surfaces.
    Definitely don't buy a cheap-o turntable, but you don't have to spend a lot either. If you look at the record manufacturers' websites, you will notice that many use AT-120LP and 1240 turntables as well as original Technics SL 1000's and 1200's. None use super high-end cartridges. Many use the Shure M97xe. If you get a higher-end cartridge, you will hear stuff that the record manufacturers never thought would be there. Mostly surface noise and other defects.
    If you want to spend a little extra money, then pop for a TT from a company which has acknowledged that it is now the 21st century, like Pro-Ject. Their Signature series looks to be great, including their "S" style tone arm.
    I have been into records for over 60 years and they will always be a part of my life, as well as CD's. If you can accept the idiosyncrasies of vinyl, then, by all means it is worth it.
  10. CraigBic

    CraigBic Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    Is this an all in or nothing scenario for you? Sounds like you might be into it as a sort of small hobby, you don't have to go the whole hog. Just get whatever turntable takes your fancy and then seek out your favorite albums. Stuff you'd listen to from start to finish if you want to grow from there then whatever, if not then you have a neat way of listing to your favorite stuff. My original goal was that I'd use Vinyl for my sort of top 10 which consisted of my favorite Beatles albums and grew to top 20 after that I just said: "**** it I'll buy whatever looks worth owning".
  11. Bradd

    Bradd Forum Resident

    Chester, NJ
    I don’t know why any one would say no.

    I’ve had a turntable for 20 years but honestly I didn’t listen to it that much. Like the OP I mostly listened to jazz cds in the car and still do but in the last few months I’ve started to listen to a lot more vinyl — mostly 60s and 70s rock — and have enjoyed going through record stores to see what interests me. When I go to estate sales with my wife, I now look for records. I haven’t found a lot at the sales but enjoyed looking through people’s collections. I also decided that after /0 years, it was time for an upgrade so I’m getting a new turntable soon.

    At any rate, I’m enjoying it and if you want to do it, why not?
  12. ayrehead

    ayrehead It was like that when I found it...

    Mid South
    Let's let Pinbrain explain that to us. That is, if he can string more than one word together in a sentence.
    jackieboy and Scott222C like this.
  13. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    Hell Yes!
    SandAndGlass and Mad shadows like this.
  14. Dominator

    Dominator Well-Known Member

    A lot of arguments against vinyl but my personal experience would be a yes vote. I have an all digital streaming system(NAS through Peachtree Nova 150) at one house and a vinyl setup at another house. When I am at the house with the digital only I start to miss my vinyl. I disagree with the people who claim that there are all kind of pops and clicks etc, if you buy quality records and have a properly setup turntable 85% of records play with no noise.

    I still play digital (flac, CD, SACD) but 9 out of 10 times if I have the option, I reach for vinyl.
    SandAndGlass, Wasabi and bru87tr like this.
  15. MisterNines

    MisterNines Distinguished Member in Residence

    St. Louis, MO USA

  16. k_brown

    k_brown Forum Resident

    From the sound of your post - I would say no.

    Seeing as you aren't too interested in looking for good quality used vinyl ( no crate digging / record fairs etc) you'll be stuck with new material.
    Here in Canada, that is pretty dang expensive and the pressing & sound quality is hit and miss.
    I got back into vinyl around 2010 when there was still lots of good reasonably priced used recordings available. I also love to tinker - I am an old hot rodder/drag racer so this has become my new outlet for that impulse. If you aren't interested in that sort of thing and need a dealer to maintain your set up that also can become expensive.
    Also, if you get back in, you need to consider cleaning equipment for your records and that all adds up.

    With the price of digital material right vs the cost of vinyl now I sure wouldn't jump in at this point in time.

    Dale A B, eelkiller and eddiel like this.
  17. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    Had the same question about six months ago.

    I ended up purchasing a used Technics linear player (eBay), but ran into issues with it, so harvested the motor+platter and now own a DIY turntable with DIY tonearm.

    I like jazz and classical music. There is an abundance of vinyl out there for $1 - $3 album, that I don't think I'd necessarily find in digital (much less via streaming), and I've enjoyed pretty much everything I've purchased tremendously.

    It has been a fun/rewarding diversion for me.
    Bradd and SBurke like this.
  18. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Well-Known Member

    Based on your post I'd say no. Seems like you have a good thing going and its well established.
    I'm new to the vinyl game and dropped serious money on a setup, and let me tell you, it is a bitch.
    I don't own CD's anymore and I can't stand the streaming game. I use Spotify for finding music but that is all.
    Vinyl, IMO, is not something you dip your toe in, its all or nothing. It requires a lot of care, prep and setup.
    With that said, it is amazing. There is no doubt, for me, it sounds better than digital and I have done that comparison on 10-15k dacs.
    But that is not what makes me love it.

    I love it because it is finite
    I love it because it is tangible
    I love it because it commands my time and I sit and listen and unplug
    I love it because it reminds me to slow down and be open minded and helps to undo my perfectionism
    Basically, I love it b/c of its imperfections

    A few weeks back, I was in a different state of mind....
    I had a first pressing of the Dark Side of the Moon on, I was laying down with my wife.
    In that moment I realized, as I was sharing this record with her, that at no time in the future
    would it sound as good as it did in that moment, like me it would decay and fade over time.
    And I loved that, helps me embrace my life to the fullest while accepting my impending fate.
    And ****, its just so much cooler than CD's!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  19. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Wishing You A Crystal Clear Digital Christmas!

    I think to have the satisfying sound that you are getting at this point in time with digital, which is obviously whisper quiet, and has come a very long ways since the 80's, I would stick right where you are with digital. You will need to spend about $8,000.00 on a turntable, cartridge, phono stage, and accessories to compare to where you are now. I got back into vinyl, as I had so many records since the 60's, very few can compare with my digital listening, and you always have the surface noise to deal with unless you have new 180g high quality vinyl, which most of mine is not.

    One other thing that has really bugged me is the getting up and turning records over. You would think this is a little thing, but really, it's an aggravation. It's much better with classical albums, as there is much more material on those, but popular music, it's over before you get comfortable and then you have to pop up and turn it. Also, don't forget, every time you play a record, you need to clean the surface. I use a carbon brush to get the dust up in a straight line, and follow with a pad that I spray with a super fine mist, which picks up all the dust, and believe me, you will have to clean each side, every time you play a record. It's a pain in the butt and I do it, BUT, with your history and your decision to go digital long ago, unless you are ready for a great deal more work and have a spare $8,000.00 for the correct turntable and the other equipment, DON'T DO IT, stick with digital.

    I realize I will have people argue that you do not need to spend $8,000.00 to have a proper analog experience, DON'T BELIEVE THEM, if you pay less you will ALWAYS question how much better your investment would have sounded if you had spent the $8,000.00 to begin with, I promise, so, DON'T DO IT! or spend the $8,000.00 and get spinning those records again.
    Razakoz, timind and enfield like this.
  20. whitwye

    whitwye Active Member

    Bellows Falls, VT
    There are young bands who release well-made vinyl. Yes, CD versions too. But with good equipment, you'll get richer sound from the vinyl. Now the question is: Is getting slightly better sound from a few treasured recordings worth it to you, given that CDs (and the better streaming options, when available) also can sound pretty damn good (again, with the right equipment -- CD deck and DAC circuit quality are as important as tonearms and phono cartridges). What does the music do for you? Is having it do that, yet a bit better, worth the trouble? And are you able to pay, say, $25 a piece for new pressings -- because worn-out records from the 60s from some used record shop, you're really better off just getting the CD version.
    The Pinhead likes this.
  21. jazon

    jazon Forum Resident

    it's a disease...stay away you will just want more and more ending up with 25 versions of Led Zeppelin II.
  22. E.Baba

    E.Baba Forum Resident

    Good summary of your current situation.

    I don't see any advantage of adding vinyl to your music. Just seems like it would get in the way of how you're already doing it.
    timind and Dennis Metz like this.
  23. ad1984

    ad1984 Well-Known Member

    I listen a lot of different ways (streaming, CDs, LPs) — but for me LPs are the most pleasurable way to listen to music. Vinyl has deepened my connection to the music I love most, and it might do the same for you. Could be worth taking a chance on.
    Alan2 likes this.
  24. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Honestly, it sounds like you wouldn't particularly enjoy it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here giggling at the idea that it's an eight grand turntable or nothing.
    Vincent3, hbucker, troggy and 7 others like this.
  25. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    No, get a decent network streamer and a lossless streaming account. For $15-$20 a month you will have millions of albums to chose from and never run out of things to listen to or explore.
    Sterling1 likes this.

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