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Vinyl Record Gooves and Needle

Discussion in 'Vintage Analog Gear' started by audiokid, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    And now we edit the bits:

  2. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

  3. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    : )
  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    That is pretty awesome. But, why wear out an LP with a crusty old needle, when anyone could afford to play it damage-free forever with one of these?

    The ELP Laser Turntable - Special Offer

    "But WAIT...if you order NOW......!"

  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hey Kapt, thanks for sharing that! OMG, that's crazy. And look at the price! I guess it preserves the vinyl. Audio-files have no limit eh.

    Personally I think vinyl sounds like crap compared to what we are doing today but I love my old music, just not the sound.

    I wonder how a mix would translate on vinyl? I love my analog system and think it brings a very special ingredient to music but I can never see going back to vinyl for its sound quality. I see it as a fad or just one more way to store music. I would love to be able to make vinyl recordings again, what a cool business add-on. I love the whole social aspect of vinyl too. I love reading the covers. But none of my old recordings come close to the sound quality I get now.

    Does anyone know what the sample/bit comparison vinyl would be at? Does it actually capture the magical space we analog geeks seem to hear more?
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    crap in one way but better in others ... as with everything in this world it's a sword with two edges. you also have to keep in mind Chris that most of the records we have here in America, are lower quality than many found in Europe and Asia ...

    it takes a lot of dead whales to make good records.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I used to be a DJ in the 80's. We subscribed to the Euro charts and bought long play 45's on vinyl ( thick vinyl) and the mixes sounded incredible compared to the standards we see here. So I know what you mean. The grooves were far apart and the bass/ clarity was night and day. But I still don't think they would sound as good as what I have here.
    Good point though, I think I have a few of those in my collection. I'll dig through them and confirm this.

    What do you mean here:
    . ?
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    whale oil .... the best vinyl has a lot of whale oil in it.

    it's the quality of the vinyl that has a lot to do with the quality of imported records being of a higher standard, not just thickness or groove width. if you feel these records and wiggle them in your hands you will notice they are more flexible, supple to the touch .... that's whale oil.

    i have all the Beatles on Parliphone pressings ... and the difference is not subtle.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Wow, that is news to me. Watson made sure whale oil just lost another season so I guess the days of higher quality vinyl is in jeopardy. Thanks for the update.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Not to turn this thread into a vinyl vs 21 century debate but I don't get why so many people rave over how great the Beatles sounded either. I love the Beatles but the sound back then wasn't anything like today. I can hardly believe people keep pushing this one and using the Beatles as a sonic reference. The band was sensational and the engineering was complimentary to the great band, their ability to blend so well together translated well to the record, but it still sounded dated and inferior to anything in the 21 century. I think performance and personal taste is being confused with sound quality all the time.

    I listen to music two ways.
    1.) I hear past the sound and simply enjoy the music and era. = Beatles, Stones, etc
    2.) Critical listening that has nothing to do with the song (personal taste) but has everything to do with the mix transferring well onto the playback device.

    Performance, tonalities, pitch, timing, musical attitude, dynamics etc. All these things contribute to music blending in a musical, harmonic or natural way.
    Whether I like it or not shouldn't have anything to do with my opinion on sound quality. I think this is why the Beatles actually sounded so good. They were great mixed together.

    But, maybe those masters sound amazing back then. All I know is the vinyl I have is far from what comes OTB today. Records didn't even produce the exact low freq because they had to roll that off in order to record on vinyl. Thus, the bass boost on turntable amps.
  11. thewonders

    thewonders Active Member

    I think that The Beatles vinyl records do show the technological limitations of their era, although those records were the best mass-produced technology that was available at the time. And, as someone mentioned, European-made records by and large seemed better than American-made vinyl (although there were always specialty manufacturers that made quality American records - and Capitol wasn't one of them!). But if you ever get to listen to some of The Beatles outtakes, or better yet individual tracks from a song, you might have a better opinion of their recording technology. Specifically, I've heard some Beatle vocal tracks that are amazingly clear and full, that sound like I'm monitoring one of The Fabs mic's live in the studio. By the time the albums were mixed and mass-produced, there was certainly some degradation, but some of the tracks were recorded with clean gear and mics that we still consider the Holy Grail.

    Having said that, I'm not one of those that holds up The Beatles' recordings as the optimum recorded sound, just wanted to point out that some of the equipment they used was quite good, even compared to today's equipment. I'm sure most of their mics beat the pants off my Australian LCD. :)
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I think quality mics are the one thing that has been steady. A great microphone seems to be timeless. But electronics , I think we've done a great job improving most of everything else. Well up to the downfall of loosing some of the great boutique companies that were in business are now gone. Consoles , Mastering and the capture devices have improved massively.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it's all about the compression and rarefaction of air.
    so far the only way we have found to "sample" it is with mechanical (analog) devices ... mics and speakers, the alpha & omega of doing audio.
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I remember the first time I got to listen to a stereo I had assembled for my house. It was my epitome that I had traded and upgraded to for a couple of years until it reached what I hoped was the nadir of stereos. I know it was for me. An ancient pair of Klipsch Cornerhorns (replaced my Heresy's) A pair of Crown DC300(no 'A') amps run in mono-bloc bridged, a Luxman Preamp, a silver era Pioneer tuner, and my Empire table with an Empire cartridge. I had a few Japanese vinyls including With The Beatles, Rubber Soul and a couple Royal Philharmonic pieces. I even had a nice slab of granite to sit the table on! I dropped the needle and 'It Wont Be Long' nearly dropped me to my knees.

    Say what you want about new technology and the 'better sound' but the depth and immediacy and the warmth of that through a system able to deliver the goods makes it hard to believe. But its also been 35 years since I heard it like that. So who knows. You could certainly hear the incredible mics though. And those recordings were a lot rawer than you might realize. We are just beginning to get a peek into the depth of it with the rerelease of the masters without enhancements.

    That being said, I find this following info very interesting. Go to:

    http://www.plangentprocesses.com and also http://tapeop.com/interviews/94/jamie-howarth-bonus/
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well of course it does. We're talking almost 50 years ago. A lot has changed.

    You have to take these accomplishments within the proper context of the time in which these remarkable things were happening.

    The Apollo command capsules that sent our guys to the moon were, in many cases, not much bigger than a phone booth, using a computer that pales in comparison in processing, power-wise, to what most people have in their homes now. But it still got them to the moon. ;)

    Travelling from the east coast to the west coast in a covered wagon is dated. And no one would want to attempt that again. But it doesn't make what those pioneers did any less amazing. In fact, in my opinion, it makes what they did under the circumstances even more amazing... and I guess I look at those old Beatles, Buddy Holly and Nat King Cole records the same way. Considering what they accomplished with what they had, makes it even more amazing to me. No pro tools, no automation, no pitch correction, no sampled drums, and if you wanted a string section you couldn't just add a Garritan Orchestral vsti... you had to hire in the LSO to play the parts.

    I don't think that it's fair to compare Beatles' recordings to today's standards, but I think that what they accomplished with what they had available to them at the time was truly amazing.

    Considering that Sgt Pepper was recorded using two 4 track machines - and bouncing tracks back and forth to free up tracks to add parts to - is a perfect example of the engineers making the absolute most of what they had to work with at that time, and that those mixes still sound pretty damned good... it's a testament to the talent and knowledge of the engineering and production staff.

    Of course, having great songs didn't hurt either.

    IMHO of course.
  16. rmburrow

    rmburrow Active Member

    Listen to the old Frank Sinatra recordings. Mr. Sinatra used the best composers, musicians, studios, and equipment. The mastering was excellent and not overdriven. Same thing with some of the old Columbia masterworks recordings. Despite the limitations of RIAA preemphasis and hot stylus disk recording, good quality still made it to the groove.
  17. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I remember liking CDs over vinyl when I visited my mom once. She had a techins or some cheap turn table and all one stereo and a couple speakers designed for look I think.
    But at home, the CD's did not seem to sound that great compared to vinyl on my belt drive table with a nice needle and my old Mcintosh mono blocks heating some nice Klipsch speakers.
    Big difference. And not all vinyl or created equal for sure. I have some stuff that is great and some not so much.

    Not that I don't think we have made improvements I sound reproduction quality.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Are Records Really Better? | Popular Science

    Myths (Vinyl) - Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase

    • 1 Vinyl always sounds better than CD
    • 2 Vinyl requires a better-sounding master because it is physically incapable of reproducing the hypercompressed sound mastered to CD
    • 3 The vinyl surface is heated to several hundred degrees on playback, and repeat play of the same track should wait at least several hours until the vinyl has cooled
    • 4 Proper vinyl playback is click-free
    • 5 Vinyl is better than CD because it reproduces higher frequencies than CD and avoids anti-aliasing filter issues at the frequencies CDs can reproduce
    • 6 Vinyl is better than digital because the analog signal on the vinyl tracks the analog signal exactly, while digital is quantized into steps
    • 7 Vinyl has greater resolution than CD because its dynamic range is higher than for CD at the most audible frequencies
    • 8 Adding a penny to the headshell improves tracking/sound
    • 9 A cartridge is permanently damaged and should be replaced if the stylus appears even slightly bent
    • 10 Belt-driven turntables are better than direct-drive turntables
  19. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    not arguing the merits of vinyl verses CD's, just saying a crap turntable equipped with a crystal type needle through a cheap system vinyl has no chance to shine given a nice system there is a lot of detail on vinyl and the difference is not that great. i have a couple belt drive table a a direct drive the direct i use the most i like it the best but a nice belt drive with a good plater is pretty darn nice IMHO.

    But I will add the only reason I ever started collecting CDs was the issue of convenience and perceived durability.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I just bought an adequate direct drive and two different cartridges, one for mastering and the other for listening , Well I actually have a third for the rough stuff. I added the Orpheus conversion for its direct connection re : RIAA Equalization can be selected in the controller applet on channels 1 & 2 so that turntables can be connected for archiving or sampling applications.

    This is what I was mentioning a while back regarding bass.
    RIAA equalization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Do people actually think vinyl captures and plays back audio more accurately than a CD or DVD? I think the added flavor in vinyl is microphonic stuff filling in the gaps that the needle is skipping. I think we all get accustomed to a sound and vinyl s one of them. I love it to but it isn't better, its just different. It becomes a comfort area, something that we identify with. And that, just like a song, is often misinterpreted as quality or talent.
    I agree, I love my Steely Dan playing right now, it sounds great but it isn't full bandwidth like what we have today. Never will be.

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