Any point running vinyl on new recordings?

Tim F

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2018
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Given the new recording masters are typically all digital, does a turntable make sense for these? I know older records, recorded and mastered in analogue can sound better on vinyl. What’s your view? I listen to almost all newer music.
Thanks Tim
 

docvale

Well-Known Member
Mar 22, 2011
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Briarcliff Manor, NY
Please allow me to give you an answer that is not audiophile at all.
If you like owning records, the ritual of placing them on a platter and spinning them, the process of listening to an entire record (thus following the artist’s view of his/her composition) rather than skipping from song to song, well, that’s enough for me to buy records.
You might lose in practicality of the process and maybe you might not be that orthodox in your quest for sound quality, yet you should put your pleasure above the audiophile rules.
Just my 2 cents.
 
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timztunz

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2018
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Texas
Given the new recording masters are typically all digital, does a turntable make sense for these? I know older records, recorded and mastered in analogue can sound better on vinyl. What’s your view? I listen to almost all newer music.
Thanks Tim
To answer this for myself all I had to do was listen to a CD of Donald Fagen's "Nightfly" and then the One Step. But it will also heavily depend on the comparable quality of the two paths out through the amps and speakers.
 

rando

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Sep 22, 2019
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Consider an alt-country singer plopping down in the studio with a hitmaker crafting their sound. For SiriusXM and Apple ad campaigns. Full studio magic treatment that is digital from start to finish with level of polish evident on singles. audio-file music

Then a spazzy electro-wünder using 80 years worth of new and abandoned equipment who knows what is going on cassette, vinyl, and digital only formats during the entire process. Making a different mix for each if the same track is going out across all of the above. Audiophile music.



The type of music you listen to could make a difference as will your playback equipment (and room). If format isn't self evident with a bit of thought.

If format is actually a concern in a market increasingly leading towards artist driven sales that hand over the digital copy at POS upon purchase of any physical format. Reach out to a few of them if they are still connected with their audience (not selling 1B albums of new releases).

Buying A & D copies of a few albums to perform a comparison somewhere is not a bad idea. The level of equipment and ability to combine it could very well be the deciding factor after all of the above.

Journey > Destination :)
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Given the new recording masters are typically all digital, does a turntable make sense for these? I know older records, recorded and mastered in analogue can sound better on vinyl. What’s your view? I listen to almost all newer music.
Thanks Tim
Hi Tim,
There are too many variables for a simple reply to your question. Starting with digital sources IMO there's a major difference between streamed/computer digital playback and physical digital media played on a competent CD/DVD player, that choice alone has a bearing on how digital compares to vinyl. Record players aren't plug & play and to get any type of quality sound a certain amount of expense and setup expertise is required something that you should keep in mind. Speaking for myself even as very biased highend turntable manufacturer and reseller when purchasing new digitally recorded music I go with the CD over the vinyl. Generally speaking at best I find a digital vinyl version only different from the CD sound if not inferior and when I opt for the vinyl copy it's mostly for the reasons that @docvale mentioned and not sound quality. I'll even go further and say that when it comes reissues of older music, specially jazz, I'll buy an early transfer CD over the majority of the so called "audiophile" reissues on heavy vinyl.

I hope this helps but you have to be specific about the front ends and recordings if you want a yes or no answer.

david
 

Tim F

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2018
108
40
93
Hi Tim,
There are too many variables for a simple reply to your question. Starting with digital sources IMO there's a major difference between streamed/computer digital playback and physical digital media played on a competent CD/DVD player, that choice alone has a bearing on how digital compares to vinyl. Record players aren't plug & play and to get any type of quality sound a certain amount of expense and setup expertise is required something that you should keep in mind. Speaking for myself even as very biased highend turntable manufacturer and reseller when purchasing new digitally recorded music I go with the CD over the vinyl. Generally speaking at best I find a digital vinyl version only different from the CD sound if not inferior and when I opt for the vinyl copy it's mostly for the reasons that @docvale mentioned and not sound quality. I'll even go further and say that when it comes reissues of older music, specially jazz, I'll buy an early transfer CD over the majority of the so called "audiophile" reissues on heavy vinyl.

I hope this helps but you have to be specific about the front ends and recordings if you want a yes or no answer.

david
This is very helpful, appreciate your advice here.

I have found in my time with vinyl, that it typically only sounds better (not just different) on older analogue recordings. I was looking to see what people thought. I find running both a digital and vinyl rig at the high end very expensive, so I have all but dropped vinyl, although I am often tempted to pick it back up. I appreciate the labour of love and ceremony from vinyl too. It is however a pain to clean records and setting up a deck takes hours and hours of work. :)

Thanks all for your perspectives!
 

timztunz

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2018
121
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Texas

Chop

Member
Aug 9, 2020
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England
Hi Tim,
There are too many variables for a simple reply to your question. Starting with digital sources IMO there's a major difference between streamed/computer digital playback and physical digital media played on a competent CD/DVD player, that choice alone has a bearing on how digital compares to vinyl. Record players aren't plug & play and to get any type of quality sound a certain amount of expense and setup expertise is required something that you should keep in mind. Speaking for myself even as very biased highend turntable manufacturer and reseller when purchasing new digitally recorded music I go with the CD over the vinyl. Generally speaking at best I find a digital vinyl version only different from the CD sound if not inferior and when I opt for the vinyl copy it's mostly for the reasons that @docvale mentioned and not sound quality. I'll even go further and say that when it comes reissues of older music, specially jazz, I'll buy an early transfer CD over the majority of the so called "audiophile" reissues on heavy vinyl.

I hope this helps but you have to be specific about the front ends and recordings if you want a yes or no answer.

david
This is the most...sensible & balanced comment I've read about this "should I go vinyl" question in ages.
 

Addicted to hifi

VIP/Donor
Sep 8, 2020
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Given the new recording masters are typically all digital, does a turntable make sense for these? I know older records, recorded and mastered in analogue can sound better on vinyl. What’s your view? I listen to almost all newer music.
Thanks Tim
audiophile lps from high quality labels sound amazing but most commercial lps sound very average, no better than cd.
 

Bartolo

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2019
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We run digital and vinyl but not having an old 'legacy' vinyl collection as many do, we are very selective about acquiring LPs -- mainly because we do not want to end up with a room or wall full of records! So this self-imposed constraint absolutely colors the choice of media format for new music acquisitions here.

After acquiring very good very early pressings of the 70's rock and Beatles we grew up with on vinyl (turned out to be about 125 lp's), now it's pretty much only excellent analog-transfer jazz that I buy on vinyl. Maybe 1 LP a month. I have a friend who really knows music and buys much more new vinyl than I do; he shoots me recommendations when he gets something new in that's great. (Great is a combo of the performance and the sound.)

We have a new record storage unit on order that'll hold about 250 lp's. It will provide a pretty hard limit on the size of the vinyl collection here at home.
 

Salectric

Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2012
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audiophile lps from high quality labels sound amazing but most commercial lps sound very average, no better than cd.
In my experience, many if not most so-called audiophile LPs have an artificial sheen that makes them less natural sounding than older reissues. From his post above, I suspect @ddk hears the same thing.

I recently was clearing out my Dad’s last remaining records following my mother’s move to assisted living, and I came across his old copy of Duke Ellington’s “Masterpieces.” Recorded in 1951, mono of course, Dad’s copy had been played many, many times and was stored in its original cover without a sleeve. When I got home, I put it on my table with some trepidation but from the first notes it was clear this was an amazing record. Sure there were some ticks and pops and some inner groove distortion (I don’t think Dad ever replaced the needle on his mono cartridge).but the music was just glorious! Warm, rich, vibrant, present and direct. Incredibly involving. This was from a very early pressing, if not 1951 then surely close to it. The cover had a price sticker that read 22cents! So this superb sound quality was from a record mastered and pressed 70 years ago.

Of course “Masterpieces” was recently reissued by Chad Kassem and I have that version as well. I haven’t compared it yet to my Dad’s copy but I do know the reissue never impressed me the way the old beat-up original did.
 

Atmasphere

[Industry Expert]
May 4, 2010
1,388
679
495
St. Paul, MN
www.atma-sphere.com
Given the new recording masters are typically all digital, does a turntable make sense for these? I know older records, recorded and mastered in analogue can sound better on vinyl. What’s your view? I listen to almost all newer music.
Thanks Tim
These days I tend to listen to a lot of newer music too.

When we're given a digital master file for an LP project, we ask if there is a version of it that lacks DSP. Quite often there is. One common DSP function is compression, used simply because there's an expectation that the recording will be played in a car. So with the non-DSP file we can cut an LP that is more dynamic (and sometimes more transparent too- depending on the DSP...). I know we're not the only ones doing this, but its a roll of the dice on any given recording. Some sound just like the CD and others don't.

At any rate if looking for a new recording I always look for the LP first.
 

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