back to article Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

Ikea is introducing a fresh take on a product it hasn't sold since 1973: The record player. Introduced as part of the upcoming Obergränsad collection, the turntable was designed in collaboration with Swedish electronic music group Swedish House Mafia, and serves as a reminder of how much vinyl has surged in the past several …

  1. Nematode

    Digital transmission?

    From an audiophile perspective, or for anyone who simply doesn't like the harsh sybillant high frequency sounds of digital recordings being converted back to analogue, why would the manufacturer embed bluetooth/usb connections? Unless mega expensive, these are just likely to degrade the sound quality in the same way mp3's do. Just use analogue outputs.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      USB is often for recording (at 128kbit!), and for playing back mp3s.

      Sadly the chips inside the cheaper units seem to be made-in-China parts so it's not possible to tell how much of the audio path is analogue and how much is digital.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      harsh sybillant sounds

      Bassssssil?

      1. Andy Landy

        Re: Digital transmission?

        I will not buy this tobacconist's, it is scratched!

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: Digital transmission?

          Nem veszem meg ezt a trafikot, karcos!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Digital transmission?

      Vinyl is fun, but the sound quality is actually not good, and never has been. Just listen to the scratching and popping noises on a silent part of a record.

      The reality is that the quality of your loudspeakers or headphones is usually the limiting factor.

      1. rnturn

        Re: Digital transmission?

        There are ways to, you know, /clean/ records. With proper handling and storage, pops and ticks can be quite rare.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Digital transmission?

          I have some vinyls, but they are for collection, not sound quality. I always clean records before use. The scratching is the stylus moving over plastic, and the popping is tiny burrs on the record groove.

          The myth of vinyl sounding better than digital is bizarre. Especially to those of us who remember the CD coming out in the 80s. People couldn’t switch to the superior quality audio format fast enough.

          Over the years I have come to the conclusion that audiophiles have the same mindset as homeopathic medicine people. At least it doesn’t actually hurt anyone though!

          1. rnturn

            Re: Digital transmission?

            I still have LPs -- well over 1000 -- that I still play, including original release Beatles LPs that still sound great. Like I mentioned: proper record handling (learned from my Dad when I was a kid). I have even more CDs. Some of the them are re-releases of LPs that I have and some of them sound awful compared to the original LP. It's got nothing to do with analog vs. digital. It's the remixing that ruined the CD. Most peoples' complaints about LPs are about things that are due to their own lack of care. Those folks are better off with 128Kbps MP3s.

            1. badflorist

              Re: Digital transmission?

              " some of them sound awful..."

              Some but not most, not even close. The sweet spot for CDs didn't come until at/after the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller (so basically 95% of time :-P).

              As someone who has heard enough mediums, CD is better than anything else residential (with the odd exception of the MLP on DVD-A).

              I'm envious of your CD collection :-). Right now I'm working with 2 stepper motors, an ESP32 and a piece of aluminum extrusion to create a cd changer to rip CD's... it's collections like yours that inspired me to do the hobby project :-).

              1. James Anderson

                Re: Digital transmission?

                The actual difference is that most CDs (and most pre-recorded cassettes) the mix was optimized for in car players where the speakers were smaller and the music had to compete with road and engine noise. Vinyl was never optimized for mobile players for some reason :-).

            2. innominatus

              Re: Digital transmission?

              Older, earlier 1960s / 1970s vinyl was better quality than later lighter weight plastic pressings

              1. Lon24 Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Digital transmission?

                I started my record collection at the start of the stereo era. Stereo was spectacular and just blew everyone away. Returning to those early stereo classical recordings now - they are now truly awful with the violins playing 12 feet to your left and the brass twelve feet to the right with nowt between. The mellowness of a good mono rendition is better to listen to the music rather than the sound.

                Of course CDs were, again, a revelation - huge bandwidth, no hiss, wobbles or crackles. I converted completely to CDs - and MP3-ing my vinyl collection and they were stored away. I still buy the occasional CD 'cos they sound better than MP3 downloads.

                Decades later I thought I would check my old turntable would still work. It was a revelation. The sound (on my Quad/B&W setup) was out of this world. Of course there was surface noise and other imperfections - but the pure analogue rather than sampled sound of a violin is discernable and imho preferable.

                The difference is I'm now at a age where perceived perfection is different. I live under Heathrow flight path and near the Brighton mainline - oh and a place well visited by siren blasting emergency vehicles. But I still hear the music - my ear now is rather good filtering out extraneous sound that might irritate an audiophile .

                Old vinyl is not better than CD/digital formats. Just different. I've no idea whether modern vinyl is up to scratch - oops, I'll get my coat, the one with a 12" bulge ;-)

                1. Michael Strorm

                  Re: Digital transmission?

                  Weren't those "hard-left/hard-right" early stereo mixes designed with 60s-era "stereograms" in mind, i.e. the ones with built-in speakers two feet apart that needed all the separation they could get?

                  They obviously sound rubbish on a modern system- and even worse through headphones- but it's surely unfair to damn stereo by that standard, since stereo mixes got rapidly better by the early 70s?

                  1. DiViDeD

                    Re: Digital transmission?

                    I know that a lot of early stereo mixes - especially pop, rock and what the hell is that rubbish you're listening to? albums would squash all the instruments into one channel, leaving the other for disconnected and somewhat reedy sounding vocals. Even the more 'artistic' mixes tended to have instruments pushed way out to the side, with an oddly empty middle.

                    And of course, the late 60s brought us the old wandering lead guitar which raced from side to side like the guitarist was bouncing off the walls.

                2. Mark Honman

                  Re: Digital transmission?

                  And at the start of the CD era I gained a record collection - from a classical music lover who was switching to CD. And also bought his old Quad 33/303, which provided a sound quality I didn't know could exist.

                  That was after buying my first CD player ("perfect sound forever") and discovering how low the CD sampling frequency really is.

                  As you say, CD & vinyl are different and have different shortcomings. CD's technical shortcomings tend to be due to clock jitter, brickwall filtering, and interaction between digital and analog power supplies.

                  By and large it is systematic noise which, yes, tends to bring a nastiness to the upper frequencies. Vinyl noise is more random although there are systematic weaknesses like resonances and the very high gain pre-amplifiers that are needed for reproduction.

              2. McSounds

                Re: Digital transmission?

                Some perhaps. I've got mid 70's Vinyl that is so light weight it's hardly more than a flexi disc. Was playing the Kate & Anna McGarrigle first album last night which falls into this category.

            3. Jakester

              Re: Digital transmission?

              For my ears, the battle between vinyl and digital is irrelevant. I shop for used LPs that I like at local thrift stores and use my computer and an USB turntable to convert to mp3 files I can play in my car. Many of the albums I get are in very good or excellent shape and only need a good cleaning to get files with few clicks, pops or significant scratchiness. Sometimes for a serious pop or click, I can edit out a really offending ones. I have had passengers comment on how noise-free my recordings are (granted, car noise hides some of the defects).

              Of course, the big advantage of digital is you can listen almost anywhere, anytime. To me, that trumps any difference in quality between digital and vinyl.

            4. AlbertH
              Facepalm

              Re: Digital transmission?

              Most of the problems with CD "sound" is because they are recorded too loud, so they clip. It's instructive to look at oscillogram of Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms" as released on CD in 1985 with the re-release from this century. The "new" version is seriously distorted because of clipping.

              The fools in the record companies believe that CDs have to sound "loud" if they're to sell well, so instruct their mastering engineers to drive the CDs into clipping. This also has the side effect of significantly reducing the dynamic range (one of the original selling points of CDs).

              As a recording engineer of many years' standing (with a number of major albums in my history), I can assure you that the studio end of things isn't to blame. We always took great care with microphone choice and placement, and took great pains to record at correct levels to whatever medium we were using. Most of the records I worked on eschewed the use of compression (wherever possible), and would apply a minimum amount of limiting to each audio source.

              LP records were a "good enough" technology when they arrived in the 1950s - and represented a major leap forward in recording fidelity. However, they were fragile and wore very quickly - again it's instructive to listen to a brand new LP against the same one played (say) 30 times......

              CDs were significantly more robust, and - when recorded with the same degree of care - could provide a much improved source of audio for listeners. The CD format - as originally designed by Philips and Sony - was a pretty good medium for its day.

              Unfortunately, we have DAB broadcasting which has led to a severe reduction in the quality of audio available "off-air". In an effort to cram ever more stations into the multiplexes, bit rates are reduced, leading to very poor sound quality.

              "Digital" is getting a bad name!

              Again - it's instructive to listen to BBC Radio 3 from a DAB receiver against their FM service. Despite the audio response only going to 15 kHz, the FM sounds very much better!

              The vinyl fad will soon blow over - when listeners get fed up listening to expensive, scratched records!

          2. simonlb
            Meh

            Re: Digital transmission?

            The myth of vinyl sounding better than digital is bizarre.

            That depends entirely on your budget, as any real audiophile can testify. I went to an audio demonstration back in the 90's for Rega turntables and heard both the vinyl and CD versions of Crowded House's Weather With You played back to back - the vinyl copy sounded much better. Mind you, the setup of amplifier, turntable, cartridge, speakers and speaker cable was approaching £5k.

            Another demonstration I attended was comparing the improvement in sound quality with the corresponding upgrade in components and complexity of the setup - adding pre-amps, changing to bi-wired speakers, upgrading the cartridge etc. All told, when the total cost of the setup - and this is for a setup comprising essentially an amplifier and turntable, not a CD player - reached £23,500 I couldn't perceive any improvement in sound quality after that. But it did sound bloody good.

            I do agree with your conclusion about homeopathics though.

            1. FIA Silver badge

              Re: Digital transmission?

              I went to an audio demonstration back in the 90's for Rega turntables and heard both the vinyl and CD versions of Crowded House's Weather With You played back to back - the vinyl copy sounded much better.

              The turntable maker demonstrated a turntable sounding better than a CD? Well colour me suprised. :D

              It would be churlish to suggest they maybe picked an example with poor mastering on the CD?

              CDs sound better, however the rise of 'compression' over the last 20 years has turned most things into a wall of noise. Listen to something well produced (Pink Floyd are a good example) versus something designed to just be a wall of noise (A lot of Oasis albums are produced like this).

              1. DJO Silver badge

                Re: Digital transmission?

                When CDs first came out I had a early adopter friend so I went for a listen.

                Before then I didn't even know there were piccolos in Hall of the Mountain King but there they were clear as anything.

                Well mastered classical music with a wide dynamic range is a really nasty test for any Hi Fi setup.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Digital transmission?

                  I worked with a team doing speech analysis, and they had some very nice audio gear and a good budget to keep it up to date. One day I went into their lab and was handed a pair of headphones (Sennheiser, IIRC) and told "listen to this", it was Suzanne Vega singing Luka, via a very expensive new CD deck when they were only just becoming available. I was completely blown away, there was nothing but her voice; no hiss, rumble, pops, clicks, just her, sounding like she was live beside me.

                  1. Mike 16 Silver badge

                    Re: Digital transmission?

                    IIRC (and per the display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain view) "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega was the (a?) test track for what became MP3.

                    Yes, I realize that CDs are not MP3, but I want to express my appreciation for folks working on storage and transmission of any media looking for "the hard bits" rather than lumping it all into "Who cares, they'll be high while their listening anyway.

                    1. keithpeter Silver badge
                      Windows

                      Re: Digital transmission?

                      Yes, I gather that Dr Brandenberg listened to Ms Vega's a capella homage to her local coffee shop and a photographer friend thousands of times while perfecting the psycho-accoustic model used in the compression algorithm. This perseverance obviously paid off!

                      Personally, I'd have gone with Reich's Tehillim if a digital recording had been available. Very challenging. However these days my hearing is such that I can't tell the difference between a bog standard mp3 and a lossless recording (see icon).

              2. Lazlo Woodbine Silver badge

                Re: Digital transmission?

                Rega also make some very fine CD players, in fact they're one of the few companies still releasing new CD players.

                Considering their CD players are just as pricy as their turntables they'll be just as happy with selling you either device.

            2. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: Digital transmission?

              "I went to an audio demonstration back in the 90's for Rega turntables and heard both the vinyl and CD versions of Crowded House's Weather With You"

              If you'd gone there and they'd demonstrated a '90s CD Player was better than a Riga turntable they'd have killed off their business there and then.

              1. Lazlo Woodbine Silver badge

                Re: Digital transmission?

                Rega also make very fine (and expensive) CD players

            3. sebacoustic

              Re: Digital transmission?

              the vinyl and cd "versions" of the same recording are mastered differently, and for vinlyl it's EQ'd with the RIAA curves on recording and playback, that accounts for any sonic differences, with cork sniffers doing the rest to assure the analog signal path's superiority. Oh sorry "analogue" we're being sophisticated here.

              1. Dr_N Silver badge

                Re: Digital transmission?

                Analogue is the correct British science/engineering spelling.

                Analog, as my physics teacher used to point out, is the title of an American Science fiction magazine.

          3. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Digital transmission?

            I made the switch for the longevity, as my hearing never has been great to begin with. A lifetime of tinnitus sucks. But, I have CDs bought in the 1980s that still work perfectly today while my old cassettes went to landfill decades ago. Use a cassette and it eventually stretches and distorts, don't use it and it eventually breaks down and either becomes brittle and snaps or gets sticky and the layers glue themselves together. CDs were the recording industry's biggest mistake ever as cassettes had to be replaced regularly while CDs do not.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Digital transmission?

              I've had CDs that self destruct. It took >10 years but they de-silvered eventually.

              1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                Re: Digital transmission?

                IIRC, when launched, 10-15 years was about the claimed life-expectancy of the medium. Can't exactly remember if it was Peter McCann or Michael Rodd who covered the feature on Tomorrow's World.

          4. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Digital transmission?

            Better or different? You have to qualify that.

            I have Bat Out Of Hell in four different formats:

            Vinyl, AAC, CD and tape. All bought at different times, for different reasons.

            Tape was first, as I wanted it for my Walkman. Then vinyl because I wanted to hear it better than the old portable could manage. CD was for when I was at university and didn't want to cart fragile vinyl around. Finally, as a comparison, I bought it on iTunes.

            And I prefer the vinyl copy. It's got the odd pop and it means you have to get up to flip sides, but it just sounds like it was intended to. The AAC version is too clean, the bass is not as organic or warm. The CD version has a bit of quantisation error in the upper frequencies, which is why I guess they remastered it for iTunes a few years ago. The cassette version, I can't really check as my tape deck needs a good servicing and I can't be arsed lugging it into London to put it on the scope - besides it's hard to get the right calibration tapes nowadays.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Digital transmission?

            Oh thank you so much for the homeopathy analogy, that will give me even more fuel to make fun of my audiophile friends.

          6. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: Digital transmission?

            First night into my first flat, and all the music I had was a Bob Dylan C-90 that a Jewish school mate had made me. It was scratchy, hissy, and I hated that hippy shit, but that was probably the best comp anyone ever made me. The songs made sense in order, he timed the endings in time, and by the end of the night I began to warm to Dylan - in a freezing cold room. Maybe it was the fresh paint smell.

            I did buy a CD player, but they were too expensive so I bought an Amstrad hifi and sawed the CD out of it. CDs were so bloody expensive though, I had 200 records and 10 CDs.

            people used to make records

            as in a record of an event

            the event of people

            playing music in a room

            now everything is cross-marketing

            it's about sunglasses and shoes

            or guns or drugs

            you choose

            http://www.danah.org/Ani/LittlePlasticCastle/Fuel.html

            Quality is in the songs, not the stereos.

        2. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: Digital transmission?

          There are ways to, you know, /clean/ records. With proper handling and storage, pops and ticks can be quite rare.

          One includes not having a little brother who wants to be like you, and listen to the same music as you...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Digital transmission?

          I've never needed to clean any mp3, flac, wav etc.

          1. herman Silver badge

            Re: Digital transmission?

            Man, your mp3s must be so full of ear wax. You really should run a band pass filter over them once in a while.

        4. nijam Silver badge

          Re: Digital transmission?

          > There are ways to, you know, /clean/ records.

          Not particulkalry reliably, though.

          > With proper handling and storage, pops and ticks can be quite rare.

          In fact, they're often in the original pressing.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: Digital transmission?

            > With proper handling and storage, pops and ticks can be quite rare.

            In fact, they're often in the original pressing.

            This!

            Can't tell you how many fresh-from-the-record-store vinyl discs have pops and crackles built into the pressings. Not to mention the fact that rather few of them were flat; generally as a result of trying to save some money and using either a low quality of vinyl or not enough of it (or both). And then, there was the occasional off-center spindle hole....

            I'm sure the "cork-sniffers" (great term, BTW) will tut-tut and mutter something snide under their breaths about the quality of the records I buy, yadda-yadda-yadda. Hey, I used to get promotional copies of many of the records I have, and were supposedly of higher quality than the retail stuff. These are meant to be beat-to-shit by somewhat-less-than-lucid DJs at radio stations1. Even these came warped, off-center drilled, and with built-in crackles and pops.

            Snaps, crackles, and pops are for breakfast cereal, not for music reproduction, and I don't care how much money you spent compensating on your audiophile rig. I'll take the version without the defects, thankyewverramuch!

            1Hey! I resemble that remark!

        5. Flywheel
          Coat

          Re: Digital transmission?

          I guess if they use crappy Chinese chips, the pops, ticks, and hiss would be added by those same chips. For free! A feature, not a bug!

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Digital transmission?

        Vinyl can sound different. For years I listened to an album on CD, and on a few tracks the bass was almost-but-not-quite fully there in a way that frustrated my brain. (A dangerous frustration that - it can lead people down the path of buying audio equipment in the hope of scratching that itch)

        One day I found a vinyl copy of the same album, and the bass felt correct.

        That particular album sounded better to my brain on vinyl. I don't confuse that with sounding more fidelitous though. I understand that recording engineers have to massage audio to fit onto vinyl, but even if not there's lots of reasons vinyl can sound different to CDs.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: Digital transmission?

          ...there's lots of reasons vinyl can sound different to CDs.

          And it's not just the data carrier, you also have different signal paths with their own limitations. I well recall my frustration in the 90s over the sound difference between what came directly out of the sampler to the amp vs. digitally recorded and then played back from CD through the same amp. Much of the rich, low bass sound was lost when played from CD while everything above was still well reproduced. I don't know where the high-pass filter was inadvertently applied - neither the ADC and the CD players should have been the limiting factor. But the sound certainly was much different.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Digital transmission?

          A common complaint I used to have to address was from people who'd bought amplifiers that were technically excellent but sounded 'thin' or 'missing bass'.

          The reason they didn't sound as good was because they didn't produce all the mushy, muddy, ill defined low frequency sound and had flat response across the audio spectrum which had the unfortunate advantage of accurately reproducing high frequencies too, something the client's knackered old system was usually incapable of.

          Same applies to knackered old loudspeakers it might sound 'good' but the cone has been exposed to moisture, its suspension is utterly worn out and the cone itself is like a floppy felt hat, it stands no chance of good quality reproduction of the sound.

      3. cosmodrome

        Re: Digital transmission?

        It's not just the static and erosion. Vinyl itself has pretty low bandwith and dynamics. Which sounds paradox but has the very simple reason that a mechanical pickup (aka "needle") can only swing that fast and that far which puts strict physical limits to amplitude and frequency - even more to how fast both can change dramatically. Which is known as dynamics.

        If you're looking at the RIAA's obsolete equalizing diagrams that had to be used for vinyl mastering and were the low-pass and high-pass filter's cutoffs hit in there's not much left of the audiophile's delusions of etheric trebles and warm basses.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      Bluetooth is cheap and convenient and for those people who are using it anyway having it in a turntable is OK. It is convenient to have the phono preamplifier in the deck since most modern amplifiers don't have this facility and a surprising number of older amplifiers don't do a particularly good job with their front ends.

    5. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      From an audiophile perspective nothing is real enough.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Digital transmission?

        I have 9 CDs that are also SACD. One is the set of Brahms symphonies conducted by Sir Roger Norrington.* My 'Hi-Fi' is over 20 years old, and I only have CD (not SACD) player. I've often wondered whether I should get an SACD player to get the benefit of the extended frequency range for the few SACDs, so I guess that I am a 'listener' rather than an 'audiophile'.

        I got them because I heard the conductor and orchestra play the Brahms 3rd symphony at the BBC Proms and it was incredible.

        * Simply superb: Johannes Brahms Complete Symphonies. SWR Music, hassler classic SACD 93.267, Sir Roger Norrington and the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR.

        1. keithpeter Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Digital transmission?

          Norrington's Beethoven symphony cycle is a favourite of mine, so I shall have to go and try the Brahms now you have recommended it. Opera conductors do know how to present the drama don't they?

        2. Phil Kingston

          Re: Digital transmission?

          Brahms 3rd racket?

    6. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      these are just likely to degrade the sound quality in the same way mp3's do.

      Just worth pointing out that MP3s were the first of the decent music compression algorithms. However they are now a very old technology (the patent has expired for example) and should not be used as a reference for the quality of sound when it comes to digitally encoded and compressed music.

      If your experience with digtial was a poorly encoded warbly MP3 in the late 90s/early 2000s then things have moved on a lot since then.

      My old, slightly tinnitusy ears can't hear the difference between a well encoded digital track and it's uncompressed source on my equipment here (Arcam amp, B&W speakers), whereas my collection of MP3s encoded 20 years ago do all sound pretty terrible by modern standards.

    7. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      "the harsh sybillant high frequency sounds of digital recordings

      The harsh high frequencies are not inherent in digital recording as a technology. They're due to idiots over-compressing dynamic range and boosting level to compensate until it clips. It's the resulting square waves that sound nasty, and they're solely due to incompetence plus the industry demand for maximum overall loudness.

      On the other hand, the distortions inherent in disk groove recording ('vinyl') are numerous but fairly benign. However a well made digital recording can be demonstrated objectively to have lower distortion overall than the best vinyl recording. I speak as a sound engineer.

      1. Nematode

        Re: Digital transmission?

        As a sound engineer, you're probably thinking pre-manufacturing sample rates and bit depths, which are designed for true fidelity to any number of possible final formats, and what you say is right. But once mastered to CD at 44 kHz, D to A conversion of anything much above 10 kHz audio is a compromise, as one can demonstrate with a bit of Excel work. Put down, say, a 15 kHz sine wave at 0.1° intervals, then sample that curve's values digitally at 44 kHz, which results in roughly 3 points per 360°, then curve fit those digital points back to a "sine wave". It's a mess. Do the same sub 1000 Hz and you find out why bass and vocal ranges reproduce so well on a CD. Of course, fancy audiophile CD player D to As do some fancy interpolation to construct a better fit, but once you layer on things like cymbals, it's pretty difficult to get a true output.

        Reproduction is always a compromise, and you'll know as a sound engineer that you deal with different output formats and media players differently.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Digital transmission?

          sample that curve's values digitally at 44 kHz, which results in roughly 3 points per 360°, then curve fit those digital points back to a "sine wave". It's a mess.

          Then you've got crap post D-A filtering. Do it properly and you'll get back the same perfect sine wave, the only way you could have anything else is if your filers are letting harmonic artifacts of the D-A through.

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: Digital transmission?

            Would it be churlish to point out that to even the best human hearing - say with a frequency response up to 20 or 22kHz - can't tell the difference between a sine wave, a square wave, and a triangle wave at anything above 11kHz? Irrespective of analog or digital, compressed or uncompressed.

            Of course, the golden eared brigade - you know, the ones who spend a fortune on copper wire - can tell the difference, because their ears aren't subject to the usual limitations of *not responding to harmonics outside the range of their hearing*

            1. Joe W Silver badge

              Re: Digital transmission?

              Audiophile means you think Nyqvist and Shannon are wrong ;-p

              (yeah, lots of equipment sucks, and many recordings are rubbish, but since I think much of modern music sounds like... uhm... noise anyways(*) I'll creep back under my rock now)

              (*) to be fair: my re-release of some Yehudi Menhuin playing the Bach Partitas sounds... well... not that great either.

              1. cosmodrome

                Re: Digital transmission?

                Audiophile also means you believe you can magically add levels of "authenticity" to material that is ignorant of any such concept. Nobody on the recording or mastering side gives a fuck about "oxygen free" copper or capacitor phase bruhaha. So by audiophile standards any recording in the world is already spoiled beyond recreation. And nevertheless these idiots think they can add that imaginary lost information by using technology that is "better" than the gear that was used recording.

                It's logically impossible. Lost informarion can't be recovered. Even if the mysterious acoustic phenomena that the audiophile mental illness is about *did* exist they would have been irrecoverably discarded by the non-audiophile recording process. An eight year old could understand that.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: Digital transmission?

                  "Lost information can't be recovered"? Depends how you define "lost" but you know they recreated colour from black and white transfers of Dr Who etc using the noise pattern the black and white transfer created?

              2. Munchausen's proxy
                Flame

                Re: Digital transmission?

                "to be fair: my re-release of some Yehudi Menhuin playing the Bach Partitas sounds... well... not that great either."

                Well, of course. To my ears, all violin partitas are the elevator music of a particularly noxious Hell.

                And the elevator gets stuck between floors.

                1. Joe W Silver badge

                  Re: Digital transmission?

                  Ok. Harsh ;)

                  I meant the recording sucks. Big time. Plus I sort of disagree with some of the interpretation, but that is as much taste as inability on my part (Hilary Hahn's renditions are great, as are A.S. Mutter's).

          2. Mark Honman

            Re: Digital transmission?

            The post D/A filtering is exactly why cheap digital audio often terrible "hash" in the upper treble. A well implemented high-order filter isn't cheap! I think this is why Philips' invention of oversampling was so effective, in simplifying the filtering problem. But open up any of their high-end Marantz CD players and you'll also find top quality components in the filter.

            However one thing I'd like to challenge you on is the extent to which pure sine waves are a proxy for the sound of musical instruments - because musical notes have an envelope, and musical instruments are not in perfect tune. So the fundamental "continuous signal" assumption of the sampling theorem doesn't apply?

            1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

              Re: Digital transmission?

              Sampling theory applies whatever form the signal takes. If the highest frequency in the source is 20kHz then in theory you need to sample at 40kHz to get al the information, irrespective of the shape of the wave*. Being "in tune" doesn't matter, as long its tuning is below 20kHz.

              If the (young) human hear can't hear anything above 20kHz then there's no point* sampling at more than 40kHz because even if there are transients or higher frequencies in the music you wouldn't be able to hear them when the sound was reproduced. A snare drum might well have audio content above 20kHz, but you won't hear those frequencies if you're in the studio so there's no point sampling and converting them.

              You'll find stuff in audio magazines about intermodulation products at higher frequencies mixing down in the ear to audible frequencies and so requiring sampling at higher rates. You'll also find stuff in other magazines about hobbits, dragons and wizards. I've got an open mind about the hobbits, dragons and wizards cos it's hard to prove that they definitely don't exist.

              *This is theoretically true, but issues around filtering and aliasing make it practically a bit more complex and one reason for sampling a bit higher than 40kHz. With the current state of the art any limitations, defects or infidelity in sampling and reproducing audio are, from the perspective of the listener, negligible. Note that I'm referring to the initial capture of the audio prior to it being mixed for CD, vinyl, or whatever. I don't dispute that CD sound might differ from vinyl sound but that's down to the way it was mixed and processed before being put on the disc, not an artefact of the original sampling.

        2. dinsdale54

          Re: Digital transmission?

          You've moved in to the "denying Shannon-Nyquist sampling theorem" territory

          I suggest you watch these videos by Chris Montgomery (who knows a thing or two aboout codecs) which explain why they are correct and you aren't.

          https://xiph.org/video/vid1.shtml

          https://xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml

          1. AIBailey

            Re: Digital transmission?

            I came here to recommend the same videos. They appear a little dry in places, but are extremely informative (and disprove a lot of the misunderstanding in the comments here).

        3. Mike 137 Silver badge

          Re: Digital transmission?

          @nematode

          Only just caught this as I've been offline.

          As a sound engineer (not a console jockey) I understand the Nyquist limit and the technique of oversampling.

          "Joining the dots" is not what happens although a lot of folks think so. A 44.1 kHz sampling rate can reproduce a pure sine wave at 22.05 kHz.

          In the absence of adequate filtration, frequencies higher than that present in the original sound source would "fold back" by the same amount as the difference between 22.05 kHz and their own frequency, inserting spurious non-harmonically related tones into the high harmonic range of the music. So a filter is applied to cut off all frequencies above 22.05 kHz. However no filter has an infinitely fast cut-off, so there's always a compromise between letting in a bit of what you want excluded and cutting of a bit of what you want to retain. In this case analogue filters can't cut the mustard as they get too complicated as circuits if you try to achieve the required fast cut-off, so we use a digital filter. Now a digital filter can be fooled into thinking you're handling a higher sampling rate by injecting dummy samples (value zero) between the real samples that represent the music - this is called oversampling. If you inject a zero between each actual sample, you've oversampled by a factor of two, and when the math of the filter runs this allows you to create a filter with a much sharper effective cut-off (oversimplification, but probably adequate). In real terms, a good digital recorder can have an effective cut-off rate at the Nyquist limit of several hundred dB per octave, which you need as the frequency range across that cut-off should be less than about 1/20th of an octave.

          Hope this clarifies.

    8. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      The A/D parts are there to allow you to stream your record to your bluetooth speakers anywhere in the house, or allow you to take a copy on your phone/flash drive. The ones I've looked at also had analog plugs to connect to a home stereo system. The A/D parts just make the player more versatile.

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: Digital transmission?

        Hmm - my Bluetooth speaker uses 4 thermionic valves. It will do well with this turntable.

    9. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Digital transmission?

      This is a very nuanced area.

      I have 45 year old vinyl that has been kept reasonably well, and it still plays fantastic.

      My HiFi is fairly vintage, and all pretty budget (but good budget), although components and parts have been replaced over the years.

      The turntable started life as a Pro-Ject Debut II in about 2001, but has had a new motor suspension which seriously reduced the rumble (made it almost inalienable at normal volumes), has had the arm from a Debut III fitted, and the cartridge replaced with my vintage Ortofon VMS20E cartridge (unfortunately using a quality aftermarket stylus, as the original is no longer made). The most recent change was replacing the heavy rubber mat I used with 6mm of acrylic disk, which has made a huge difference to the accuracy of the bass.

      For CD, I used to use a Technics CD changer, and at that time, I felt that vinyl copies of the same album were clearer than the CD. But I discovered two things. When I replaced the CD player with a vintage Marantz one, with a Cambridge Audio external DAC, the sound playback from the CDs jumped in quality using the external DAC, even compared to the built-in DAC of the Marantz. The other thing is that modern CD pressings, especially 'remastered' ones often sound terrible compared to the vintage CD pressings. And many modern albums sound really bad as well, mainly because the levels are set so high that sometimes they clip, and they rarely use the full, much greater dynamic range of CD (everything is loud, nothing is quiet).

      Yes. Vinyl is a flawed medium. Yes the quality of the turntable is important, and the cartridge and stylus even more so (finer stylii sit more deeply in the grove, and are more immune to surface scratches, but suffer from debris in the bottom of the grove more). Yes, badly kept vinyl suffers from dirt and damage. Yes the dynamic range of vinyl is lower than CD. Yes, there is distortion caused by the non-linear path of pivoted tone arms. Yes the tracking speed of vinyl changes from the outer to the inner groves.

      But even given all of this, vinyl can still sound superb, and many respected brand CD players can mangle the music, and modern audio engineering and production can misuse the supposed better capabilities of CD just as badly.

      BTW. I bought one of the cheap (£89) Dual manual turntables from Lidl a while back, just to see what it was like (it's not the Dual of old, however, merely a badged Chinese TT, which is available under several names), and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of playback,especially when the felt mat was replaced by my heavy rubber one. The original cartridge was quite good (an Audio Technica AT3600L which has had very good reviews for a rock-bottom budget cartridge) but also takes better cartridges quite well as well. Only the poor initial set-up of the arm and the built-in phono pre-amp let it down. Turning the pre-amp off, and feeding it into the phono input of my NAD amp cured nearly all of the problems from the pre-amp. This shows that there is still a cheap way into vinyl.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Digital transmission?

        Damned auto-correct. Rumble is inaudible, i.e. can't be heard!

      2. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: Digital transmission?

        Do you know the youtube channel "Techmoan"? He reviewed that turntable as well, similar conclusion, as far as I remember. The chap has got a very down to Earth view, is really into older tech (especially tape, both reel-to-reel and MC), and also has a good idea of what can be expected from HiFi components at certain price points (at what "diminishing returns" are...).

  2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    It gets more fun...

    When you don't just buy a vintage turntable buy amp and speakers too.

    I say this as someone with a modern Onkyo hifi that's now in the spare room mostly unused, instead in my study and front room 70's Pioneer amps do the noise making duties. Both were recapped and both sound better than any modern amp I've found that's less than 4 figures.

    Also, having a fully automatic turntable (70's Dual affair) is a big smug thing compaired to almost all modern decks.

    Still looking for Garrard 401 to own though... One day maybe..

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: It gets more fun...

      Many modern amps are spec-sheet oriented and programmed by the cheapest bidder. They lack the most critical feature that every old system has: loudness compensation. Humans need it. This used to simply be a couple of taps on the volume pot that delivered tonal compensation. For a digital multichannel system, it's trickier because the compensation varies by speaker.

      Media players often don't get EQ compensation right either because people aren't looking for that on the side of the box.

      1. rnturn

        Re: It gets more fun...

        I have three tuner/amps and only the oldest (~25yo) has a loudness option so for late night listening it's time for the headphones.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It gets more fun...

        So, basically you're saying that you don't want your music to be faithfully reproduced, you want it coloured and modified by the playback equipment so it sounds nicer to your ears?

        Weird, I thought hifi was meant to reproduce the original source as faithfully as possible, not alter it to suit your tastes.

        1. R Soul Bronze badge

          Re: It gets more fun...

          "Weird, I thought hifi was meant to reproduce the original source as faithfully as possible, not alter it to suit your tastes."

          These are not mutually exclusive.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It gets more fun...

            Clue is in the name "HiFi", it means 'High Fidelity', I.E. true to the original.

            If your equipment is altering the sound from the original to make it sound nice to your ears then, by the very definition, it's not HiFi.

            So, all the BS about 'Vinyl sounds warmer', 'Valves give warmth', 'annealing fuses in the excrement of the Cuban greater funnel-eared bat to expand the sound stage' etc. etc. is just nonsense.

            You might as well just buy yourself a graphic equaliser with lots of flashing lights and make pretty shapes with the sliders.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: It gets more fun...

              I had an argument with an audiophile once about my use of a graphic equaliser. They said that it was altering the original intention of the person who mixed it. I said that the person who mixed it wasn't listening to it whilst sat in my front room with all the acoustic vagaries of that environment.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: It gets more fun...

      I have three audio systems in my house. One is a vintage Quad 2 setup that feeds a couple of KEF 104ab speakers. The second uses a large NAD amplifier feeding a pair of Vandersteen 2CE loudspeakers. The third uses a nondescript Class D amplifier feeding a couple of 'not that good' bookshelf speakers.

      Guess which setup gets the most use?

      The Quad, like all Quads, sounds great but its a room heater -- 250watts in for a tenth of it out. The NAD is another great amplifier; its huge (and really heavy), the speakers are magnificent but the system got banished to my workshop because it tends to dominate any and every room its placed in. The generic is not only convenient but actually sounds really good because the speaker placement and size is perfect for the space.

      Moral -- let your ears be your guide. Many of us also have to live in the house with a person loosely known as "the missus". She tends to have 'views' about room dominance and system usability.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: It gets more fun...

        "Moral -- let your ears be your guide."

        Amen, brother.

      2. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: It gets more fun...

        In my case it was the missus who had the golden ears. She claimed to have little interest, but definitely recognized the good stuff. For a birthday she bought "me" one of the first afromosia Linn LP12s fitted with the neon switch (1975?). Years (and stupid amounts of money) later it was a Trigger’s broom with new power supply, Ittock, and Asak driving Naim 250 etc., into Kans. We had clean records and did not notice clicks and pops. She bought a Nakamichi CD player after a brief audition and bought it home. Obviously we were used to the analogue system and both thought that the CDs she bought sounded weird. The shop took it back (minus a restocking fee). A couple of years later we bought a Naim CD player which was fine. I bought some bigger speakers just before I had a serious RTA that caused some brain and hearing damage. I found that I was no longer able to drive the system, so we sold it along with a thousand LPs, and bought a small all-in-one B&O music system which I could drive through its remote.

        These days my hearing is worse, and music comes from a pair of Apple HomePod minis, which seem OK…

      3. herman Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: It gets more fun...

        Eventually, your tinnitus and other age related hearing loss will ensure that you won't be able to hear the difference between the three systems anyway.

    3. Alistair
      Windows

      Re: It gets more fun...

      ... Garrard 401 on oak chassis, Needed a new belt and some TLC on the drive motor. The dude in the hifi joint refused to believe me. Had to bring in photos to get him to order bits. Yes, awesome.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: It gets more fun...

        About that Garrard.... You do know it doesn't use belts right? It's a Idler wheel thus uses a rubber wheel instead of a belt...

        Other later Garrards yes, but not the 301 or 401's

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It gets more fun...

      Those Pioneer Amps and vintage speakers?

      Yeah, they give a nice rich sound with deep lows and excellent bass right?

      That'd be the monstrous lack of definition from piss poor power supply performance, soggy transistor response and worn out floppy cones, not actually 'good performance'.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: It gets more fun... @AC

        I can tell where you're coming from. I've seen so many sets of speakers where the suspension of the drives has rotted away over time, and now the cones are almost free-floating, only held in place by the secondary suspension close to the voice coil.

        But...

        I have three pairs of vintage speakers. Keesonic Kubs, Mission 760s and Wharfedale Diamonds (not sure which versions, but quite early ones), and none of these have physically damaged cones or suspension, and I've previously had others as well. The Keesonics I've owned from new (bought 1979), and still sound good to my ears, even compared to the more modern speakers that Ive bought and since got rid of.

        I've not tested the rigidity of the cones, but they still seem pretty stiff.

        Not all power supplies in vintage amps. suffer the power problems you talk about. Many of them (such as my NAD) were designed to be able to supply high currents in bursts to allow for low impedance speakers, and anyway, I never listen at an antisocial volumes that challenge even the modest 20 watts RMS the amp's rated at. I wonder whether modern switch mode power supplies, although on paper technically better, can actually do the same.

        It's also been re-capped.

        The effect of time on semiconductors seems to generate much discussion, but from what I read, provided the transistors are not run at the edges of their thermal envelope, they should perform pretty well for several decades. It actually seems that there may be a faster degradation of modern devices because of the tight integration, packaging and being run much closer to their limits because we 'understand' the material properties better now.

        So don't discard the best of the vintage stuff. It still can be good.

    5. DiViDeD

      Re: It gets more fun...

      Ah, but you haven't seen fully automatic until you check out my Accutrac +6.

      Stacks up to 6 albums on its centre stick, lowers each one gently, spinning it so it hits the TT at the right speed, and ludicrously programmable, as in "Play disc 1 track 3, followed by disc 3 track 2, then let's have disc 2 track 6 and finish with disc 1 track 4"

      Truly an OCD joy!

  3. heyrick Silver badge

    Beware sub par efforts

    I have a deck that is very similar to the infamous Crosley Cruiser ($100? I paid €40!). It can play from Bluetooth (but not to it), it can play from USB and sort of record to USB (it's a bit hit and miss) but the main problem, the insurmountable problem, is that they are using a cheap ceramic cartridge with a fairly high output and wanging it straight into the amp. Due to the lack of proper equalisation, the treble is overly bright and the bass is (often extremely) distorted. The end result is rather shit. And this isn't possible to fix by fiddling with the tone and volume because the problem is the connection between the needle and the amp.

    I tried sticking a resistor in there to limit the output, but it didn't make any difference. I'm not good enough with the theory to know what would work, suffice to say, this unit as sold will not make your grandparents Abba records sound worth listening to.

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Megaphone

      Re: Beware sub par efforts

      RIAA

      You need a pre amp that has a specific frequency response. Records are purposely recorded with a boosted low frequency, that needs to be reversed on playback. Often this is cost cut down to a treble bypass cap somewhere, sometimes even cheaper options are taken...

      Sound result >

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beware sub par efforts

        Exactly. The RIAA amp spec is specifically designed to compensate for the shitty frequency dependence of vinyl recording. And yea, I've been teaching amplifier design since the late 1980's, and have been building amps since the '70's. Vinyl? seriously?

      2. rnturn

        Re: Beware sub par efforts

        You mean purposely recorded with a "lowered" low frequency response. Without that, bass notes would require much wider grooves and eat up too much of the record. (Some say it would cause the stylus to leap out of the groove; dunno about that.) The pre-amp boosts it back to the correct level. That surprises some of the vinyl newbies when they plug that used turntable they found in a resale shop into their AV receiver that doesn't include the RIAA equalization and wonder why their records sound to tinny.

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Beware sub par efforts

      Two things I can think of.

      Although unlikely, you might have a moving magnet cartridge and a moving coil pre-amp, or vice-versa.

      If it were just a bright top end I'd guess that the RIAA filtering has been missed or badly done. However this wouldn't explain the bass distortion unless there's something odd about the impedance match. If you can find a cheap RIAA filter* then it might be worth giving it a go - it will definitely drop the top end, but it will boost the bass, so won't fix that unless there is an impedance mismatch and the filter fixes it.

      *or make one yourself - plenty of circuits online.

      1. rnturn

        Re: Beware sub par efforts

        > *or make one yourself - plenty of circuits online.

        My ancient copy of the IC Op-Amp Cookbook includes a nice one.

    3. PRR Bronze badge

      Re: Beware sub par efforts

      > the insurmountable problem, is that they are using a cheap ceramic cartridge....lack of proper equalisation, the treble is overly bright and .... the problem is the connection between the needle and the amp.

      > I tried sticking a resistor in there to limit the output, but .... I'm not good enough with the theory ....this unit as sold will not make your grandparents Abba records sound worth listening to.

      Hey, that's MY ABBA record!

      Let us note that this IKEA record player is using a AudioTechnica needle; AFAIK AT does not sell ceramics, only MM types. All better than decent. And the cost of the necessary EQ can be covered by the high market value (and volume sales) of the IKEA badge.

      Your cheap ceramic player is hardly worth fixing. Among other things, a cheap ceramic chews-up the record grooves. It is perfectly possible to get good EQ but since ceramic-needle makers put part of the EQ inside the needle's mechanical parameters (as a free but gross approximation of proper EQ) it is a lot of guesswork and testing. Better to replace with decent magnetic needle and sneak a small EQ/Preamp inside before the ADC.

    4. jake Silver badge

      Re: Beware sub par efforts

      "this unit as sold will not make your grandparents Abba records sound worth listening to."

      That doesn't mean much ... NOTHING can make abba worth listening to.

    5. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Beware sub par efforts

      "will not make your grandparents Abba records sound worth listening to."

      OUCH. Those are not my grandparent's ABBA records, they are mine, bought by me, when they first came out.

  4. Persona Silver badge

    That vinyl sound

    I often ponder about sound on vinyl. For the vast bulk of those vinyl disks, in the recording process the analog sound is digitized and stored. This is even true for those really old direct to disk records where only a few records and no digital master exists. They play it and digitize the output to use to make copies.

    The recorded digital signal is then mixed and edited until it's the way the producer wants it. The digital signal is then used to control the cutting head of a type of lathe to make a metal mold to stamp out vinyl disks. The groove in these vinyl disks then vibrates a stylus that is then amplified and fed to a speaker to make sound.

    Why do all of the audiophiles agree that the vinyl sound is better? Perhaps it does but it's just a digital signal that has had some strange processing steps (not magic) added to it during the process of converting it back to sound. Couldn't an equivalent bit of distortion and filtering be applied during the digital to analog processing of a pure digital recording to mess it up enough to sound like vinyl?

    Perhaps this could be a good use for machine learning: determine the processing required to convert a purely digital recording to match the sound of one that has been pressed into vinyl.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: That vinyl sound

      The analog sound is digitized ?

      Maybe it is today, but back in the day (ie when I was young), the process was to make a master record, then use it to imprint the production line to make copies.

      There was nothing digital in that process. They didn't have the technology for that yet.

      I think.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: That vinyl sound

        I remember the arguments in the early CD days, where all-digital ("DDD") recording and processing was said to be so much better than part-analogue ("ADD" or "AAD"), so I'd agree that most older LPs, up to the 1980s at least, were probably wholly analogue.

        1. ClockworkOwl

          Re: That vinyl sound

          I suspect that the advent of digital mixing desks / studios was quite a complicated and protracted change across the industry.

          When I did some recording in a studio back in 89 / 90 they were still very much analogue, from capture on multitrack tape to mastering. There were digital effects (Akai sampler, synths etc.) and there were DAT and CD for take outs.

          I doubt that any digital desk was upto the same standard back then, but things sure changed massively over the next 2 decades..!

        2. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: That vinyl sound

          Sure, but I'm guessing that wherever Adele went to record her albums, the recording studio equipment was basically microphones wired up to a computer. No doubt with very impressive audio-capture devices and so on, but nevertheless the analogue signal would be converted to digital pretty quickly.

        3. -tim
          Coat

          Re: That vinyl sound

          While the DDD should be technically more correct, I'll take the AAD or ADD version most of the time. In my CD collection, the AAD is left of the ADD which is left of the DDD which is left of the "remastered" versions. The ones that get the most play are the ones on the left.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: That vinyl sound

        There was nothing digital in that process. They didn't have the technology for that yet.

        Correct. It was analog all the way from recording to playing. There was a digital video disk player (looking like an audio player) back in the '70's, or maybe 80's. RCA I think. They looked alike in your hand but under magnification they were to different things.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          > There was a digital video disk player (looking like an audio player) back in the '70's, or maybe 80's.

          If you're referring to Laserdisc, it was an analogue video format, not digital.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_disc_drive

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          Ah no. The mixing desks were digital... they had little motorised sliders that followed a digital computer program in order to change the levels of the analogue signal.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          No.

          In every studio I've been in they had at least one Neumann U47 (or later model) as the workhorse microphones, these are condenser microphones originally designed in the late 1940s and are most emphatically analogue.

          The more popular Shure SM58 (a lot cheaper) used mainly on stage is a cardioid dynamic microphone and is certainly not digital.

          1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: That vinyl sound

            I wonder if the OP (Hildy) assumed that because condenser mics need power then they are doing some sort of processing on-board.

          2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: That vinyl sound

            All microphones are analogue.

            Some have a digital interface attached to them or built in, but still analogue.

        2. Paul 195

          Re: That vinyl sound

          That simply isn't true. Even the modern Rode microphone I use for Zoom calls etc is analogue (XLR output), and I connect it to a DAC so I can plug it into the computer.

          And as for "before we were born", nobody could build anything digital that ran fast enough to capture high fidelity audio that long ago.

      4. snowpages

        Re: That vinyl sound

        The Neve DSP fully digital mixing desk came out in 1981 but was VERY expensive.

      5. F. Frederick Skitty

        Re: That vinyl sound

        "There was nothing digital in that process. They didn't have the technology for that yet."

        Mastering (where the recording is mixed down into a stereo recording for reproduction) has been mostly digital since the early 1980s. The standard machine for this was the Sony PCM-F1, which was first released in 1978. It meant multiple copies could be made without the degradation that comes from copying with analogue equipment.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: That vinyl sound

      It "sounds better" for much the same reason that gold-plated oxygen-free copper cables "sound better". The owner has paid a lot of money for it, and has to justify it.

      With good A-D and D-A convertors there is no discernable loss or change from using digital techniques, that can be proven mathematically. It may well be that people prefer an analogue reproduction, because they like the way it changes the sound, but it isn't objectively "better" than a digital recording. That's not unlike the way that a studio recording can sound "better" than a live experience, because it's been tweaked to sound better.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: That vinyl sound

        There's two other reasons why a live performance could sound better than recorded. The first is acoustics. With a recording, you get the acoustics of the room it was recorded in plus on top of that, the acoustics of the room you play it in. A recording studio will have very dry acoustics, but in many venues, the acoustics of the building are part of what makes it sound special, St Paul's Cathedral in London is an extreme example of that.

        The other is that speakers can't necessarily replicate exactly the sound of a different instrument. The 32 foot bombarde pipes in the organ of St Sulpice in Paris would be a good example of that.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          The live performance is a hit and miss thing. I've been at gigs standing thinking how shit the sound is. Then i moved 10 metres to the side and it sounded great.

          Over the years of listening to live music and playing in front of some nasty 4x12 cabs, my ears are now ruined and a second duplicate C90 cassette sounds as good as a CD or as good as a vinyl record on the finest turntable through the finest amplification and speakers.

          But too perfectly reproduced sound was never the best, a bit of human imperfection along the way is what made things truly brilliant.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That vinyl sound

            If your live music is amplified through loudspeakers, it’ll sound no different to if it was recorded, though.

            It’s only really orchestras that are noticeably different live (although obviously the atmosphere is better)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That vinyl sound

              Although the old Wembley Stadium sounded awful. Live performances there were dreadful compared to recordings.

            2. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: That vinyl sound

              “ If your live music is amplified through loudspeakers, it’ll sound no different to if it was recorded, though.”

              I don’t go to gigs that play recorded music. That’s those DJ event things, i know they are very popular, but not my thing. Yes, the effect would be the same. I’ve been in a music shop when a salesman demoed a piano, playing Bach got the chills. A recording wouldn’t do that. Same with live singers in the same room, they can move me to tears.

              Who knows why?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That vinyl sound

            "The live performance is a hit and miss thing. I've been at gigs standing thinking how shit the sound is. Then i moved 10 metres to the side and it sounded great."

            I've been to concerts where it seemed the best sound was ... in the restroom. Going to a show is more about the whole experience than perfect acoustics.

        2. DJO Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          ...why a live performance could sound better than recorded...

          Mainly depends on one thing, how many tracks were recorded - If they record every track and completely remix it you'll get a good recording, if they just recorded the 2 channel output from the mixing desk it'll sound like crap. This is because the in venue mix will reduce the backline and drums to allow for the sound from stage, vocals and keyboards however are almost inaudible without the PA so will be mixed higher. That sounds great in the venue, recorded, less so.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That vinyl sound

        "With good A-D and D-A convertors there is no discernable loss or change from using digital techniques, that can be proven mathematically."

        Untrue.

        When you digitise, you lose information, based upon the sample rate. You can add back information, but that is based upon an assumption of that that missing information is.

        Is it good enough? Yes.

        Can you prove information isn't lost? No.

        1. rnturn

          Re: That vinyl sound

          Do you lose information? Yes. Is it information you can hear? Probably not. Our ears are low pass filters and most anything above 20KHz can't be heard... when we're young. As we age, most of us are lucky to be able to hear the frequencies in the upper teens. Doesn't matter if the source is analog or digital-to-analog.

          Now the difference between MP3 and FLAC? Even my older ears can tell the difference in an A-B test. Unless that test takes place in a car hurtling down the highway with the windows down.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: That vinyl sound

            As far as I can tell no-one has ever been able to tell the difference between CD quality non-compressed sound and larger/higher bit rates in double blind tests. The compressed versions seem to add features you can learn listen out for and people use these to identify differences in longer word/higher bit rate compressed versions.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: That vinyl sound

              If you can learn to listen for the sonic artifacts, then that means that they are there, and the music is not the same.

              Seems to me you've argued against yourself there.

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          You dont lose information that your ears can hear though. Vinyl loses information - its easy to prove this is true by playing the record back and comparing it to the mastering medium. The info lost and distortion added is orders of magnitude higher than that from digital conversion.

          1. DJO Silver badge

            Re: That vinyl sound

            Vinyl loses information

            It's built in to the specification. Sources for pressing to vinyl are compressed using RIAA equalization.

            Compression and subsequent expansion is inherently lossy, maybe not very lossy but lossy all the same.

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          Untrue.

          When you digitise, you lose information, based upon the sample rate.

          Note that I said "no discernable loss". Certainly you lose information at frequencies above half the sample rate, but if that's beyond the range of human hearing you can't hear it, so it doesn't matter. Analogue recording, vinyl or tape, follows the same principle.

        4. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          > When you digitise, you lose information, based upon the sample rate.

          Well to be exact, the sample rate dictates the band limit you can capture. In the case of 44,100Hz that is everything from nothing up to 22,050Hz.

          Within that bandwidth, everything is fully reproducible. You lose nothing, no waveform of any kind.

          Anything that IS lost, is above 22,050Hz, and is unwanted and would have very likely been filtered out anyway so as to no ADD distortion, which is known as aliasing, because there is a chance that one of your sample points will fall onto part of a waveform above 22,050Hz, but as it is beyond your band linit, you only have part of that waveform, thus trying to reproduce it adds aliasing.

          Thus you filter it out. Well actually, we dont...

          What we do is record at a HIGHER sample rate that what is needed. Thus we can capture the junk above 22,050Hz with NO NEED to filter any of that out at all. We edit at this higher sample rate also, any noise and junk we add due to that editing again, gets pushed beyond 22,050, like sweeping crap under the carpet. Sampling high really does make that capturing and editing process so easier to deal with the noise. Then when we are ready, we downsample to 44,100Hz.

          This literally sends the crap above 22,050Hz into the void. Giving us a nice small file (our master is at 192kHz and is much bigger) and perfect reproduction of ANY WAVEFORM that existed at the time of recording, but not higher than 22,050Hz. Nothing is lost apart from what we dont want, and cant even hear. Nothing.

          In fact, we do it when playing back too.

          CD players, when they say 6x Oversampling, well that isnt just a "wank feature" but a very good way of playing back the waveform. The 44,100Hz samples are upsampled to 6x 44,100, resulting in a sample rate of 264.6kHz.

          Now, sure there is nothing in there. Above 22,050, there is nothing, because we already dumped that crap, but the CD player now can deal with the noise that it adds during conversion. The D-A converter and filtering stages can now be designed to filter out any noise added by the CD player itself using much simpler and gentler filters.

          An old CD player that does not oversample will have a harder filter at 22,050Hz which is harder to make and more expensive.

          So: Nothing at all is lost that we want. Nothing. Everything that is lost, was not wanted in the first place.

          > Can you prove information isn't lost?

          Yes, we can. In fact you can see it on youtube. You can do it yourself. In a band limited signal, nothing is lost when converting to digital samples and back again. Nothing. Each sample is like a dot in a connect the dots picture, the dots make the picture, they can only make that picture. The only solution, is the exact original signal that was recorded.

          "Perfect audio forever" is not just a tagline. This technology nailed digital audio in the 19 bloody 80's. No matter how may audiofools want to think otherwise.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: That vinyl sound

      Why do all of the audiophiles agree that the vinyl sound is better?

      There is a long history of audiophiles agreeing that CDs sounded much better than vinyl, followed by a long history of audiophiles arguing about which DACs sounded better still, culminating (presently) in their agreement that compressed, hissy sound from vinyl sounds wonderful, provided it's digitised and played back through some bluetooth speaker with a frequency response curve like a bathtub.

      See also instant film vs. digital imaging.

      It's the same process that brought you the mullet and clackers.

    4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: That vinyl sound

      Why do all of the audiophiles agree that the vinyl sound is better?

      Nobody knows. Audiophiles are weird, and rejection of the sampling theorem is only part of their weirdness. Luckily they can't fool double-blind trials so the rest of us know they're bullshitting.

      1. ITS Retired

        Re: That vinyl sound

        Back in the day, vinyl only had tube/valve amps. Tubes/valves do not have a sudden hard cut offs when the limit was approached and reached. Digital/solid state on the other hand does. When a solid stare amp hits the limit, square waves, full of harmonics are generated. These have a strong tendency to not sound good to even normal listeners.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          !n 1969 (IIRC) a Quad invited the golden ears of the hi-fi industry to listen to their new current dumping amp with 0.001% distortion, The also played the same music through the MkII valve amps - 1% distortion and 33 series amps at 0.1% distortion in a series of double blind tests. The golden ears of the industry couldn't tell the differences between them! Rather than the golden ears admit they made a living writing bollocks for the hifi mags and other press reports they just decided not to take part in any more double blind tests.

          Quad went from trying to make their equipment more Hi-Fi as in accurately reproducing the sound on offer to , shall we call it "Knowing your market" equipment.

          1. MrBanana Silver badge

            Re: That vinyl sound

            The thing to note about Quad switching from valves to transistors was that, yes they reduced distortion levels, but they didn't change the basic topology of the circuitry. The harmonic characteristics of both amps were deliberately designed to be the same. But even if Quad were gaming the test by controlling both configurations, it has been shown since that many so called golden ears of the AES couldn't tell the difference between Crown DC-300 (solid state) and VTL 300 (tube) amps. In general most competent power amps, when operated within their design parameters, sound pretty much the same. Differences usually only show when driving difficult speaker loads. Same goes for speaker cables, and don't get me started on the supposed benefits of upgrading that 1m of power cord that runs from the wall socket to your amp.

        2. Persona Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          What you are describing is a filter function that could easily be added to the solid state amp to replicate the growing level of distortion that the valve based amp introduces as it approaches the limit.

        3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: That vinyl sound

          When a solid stare amp hits the limit.

          Who knew Paddington was was a sound engineer?

    5. Contrex

      Re: That vinyl sound

      I knew an audiophool in the 1980s (he owned a record shop), and he took great pleasure in showing off his terrific audio system, including Quad electrostatic speakers, and a very nice FM tuner, proper aerial on the roof, etc. I asked if he would be getting one of these new CD players. 'Oh no! he said. 'Digital processing ruins the sound. I can really tell.' I said I supposed classical concerts on Radio 3 must be nice. 'Yes!', he replied. I often tape them on the Revox for playing again. Lovely open, clear sound'.

      'Recently?', I asked. 'Last week', he said.

      I said that I'd read the year before in 'Wireless World' that the BBC were now using the Mk.2 NICAM equipment (6 compressed music channels in 2048kbit/s) to link the studios and transmitters,

      He was silent.

      A couple of years later I started sleeping with his wife, that he was also proud of, in a similar way (she told me) but that's a story for another day.

      1. Contrex

        Re: That vinyl sound

        To the thumbs-downer - she had already left him, after finding out he had been serially unfaithful. A divorce was in progress.

    6. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: That vinyl sound

      There is a difference between CD and vinyl but its not the 'digital' bit. Vinyl has t have the levels carefully controlled to avoid cutting through between grooves and ruining the master. CDs don't have that limitation so the temptation is to master them with gobs of compression to give them more presence.

      I used to think vinyl/CD claims were bogus, especially as around 2000 I ripped my vinyl to CDs so I could play my records, imperfections and all, for ever without degrading them. The downside is that occasionally I have to re-record a track because something caused the tone arm to skip. I thought I could get around this for one common record by purchasing a CD, it was less hassle than dragging out all the ripping equipment. The result -- vinyl on CD and CD purchased new --- was night and day. The CD sounded awful. Its not the medium's fault but whoever dumped the noise onto it.

      (Classical music doesn't suffer from this mastering problem on the whole so you also don't get much from using vinyl -- a pure digital recording has far better dynamic range than vinyl but you need good kit to exploit it.)

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: That vinyl sound

        Records have a form of frequency adjustment call RIAA. Every preamp will have a reverse frequency adjustment so in theory the sound should be unaltered.

        Some old record cutting equipment had similar sound adjusting properties and so the master tapes used to drive the cutters were adjusted the other way so the end result from a record player should sound as near as possible like the 'original'. Some companies used these to make early CDs and a few people claim to have noted the difference and this seems to be the origin of the current audiophile folk myths.

        The best way of looking at this is CD is spot on - any audio features added by digitising are less noticeable to humans than the effects of a candle bending the air between your ear and the speaker. Don't try that with headphones!. Vinyl is a serious downgrade to the audio signal but some people like the way it does it and prefer it to the far better quality and reliability of CDs possibly because of the ritual involved which is very reminiscent of opening a present.

        1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

          Re: That vinyl sound

          I think you're right about the ritual of playing vinyl.

          Regarding cutting the vinyl; Graham Parker's "The Parkerilla" LP has "Hey Lord....." as a single track on side 4. It's <13 mins long and whoever cut the vinyl took full advantage of this cos it's volume is way above the limit of my USB converter.

    7. rnturn

      Re: That vinyl sound

      > Why do all of the audiophiles agree that the vinyl sound is better? Perhaps it does but it's just a digital signal that has had some strange processing steps (not magic) added to it during the process of converting it back to sound.

      Early CDs suffered from some recording techniques (miking, etc.) that made them sound pretty harsh (too /much/ high frequency content from what I've heard). Sound engineers learned their way around that problem. I was a fairly early adopter of CDs but never considered them to sound bad. The dynamic range was a joy and something that was rather rare from an LP w/o surface noise becoming distracting. Then record companies decided to compress the hell out of everything to make it sound louder. Maybe THAT's what the LP aficionados appreciate about their LPs: no compression.

  5. msknight

    Too good is bad

    Personally, I believe that too pure a result, is where the problem is...

    https://www.dailyedge.ie/how-long-could-you-stay-in-the-worlds-quietest-room-407986-Apr2012/

    "NOBODY HAS BEEN able to stay in the Anechoic Chamber in Minneapolis for longer than 45 minutes. Why? Because inside the world’s quietest room noise doesn’t bounce off the walls as normal – creating an absence of sound that disturbs visitors to the point of hallucination."

    There is a point where reaching perfection actually annoys us.

    I appreciate that every point in the system introduces artefacts, whatever they may be. There is a point where I can't tell a high, "resolution," mp3 file from a flac file. So what makes the difference? I actually prefer different sources depending on what I'm listening to. A'capella and orchestral I'll usually buy on CD and listen on a valve amp. Rock, pop, etc. I'll go for vinyl. Odd sources I'll buy on cassette and be quite happy listening via an integrated amp.

    TLDR: There's no one authoritative, best, source. It depends on too many variables and it's all subjective anyway.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Too good is bad

      "NOBODY HAS BEEN able to stay in the Anechoic Chamber in Minneapolis for longer than 45 minutes."

      I'm very introvert. I like the sound of that room...

      1. msknight

        Re: Too good is bad

        " I like the sound of that room..." ... Ahhhh! I see what you did there.

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: Too good is bad

          " I like the sound of that room..." ... Ahhhh! I see what you did there.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Too good is bad

            Before the Earth passed away it was going to be treated to the very ultimate in sound reproduction, the greatest public address system ever built. But there was no concert, no music, no fanfare, just a simple message. “People of Earth, your attention, please,” a voice said, and it was wonderful.

            1. hopkinse

              Re: Too good is bad

              And then there was Hotblack Desiato...

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Ikea turntables...

    Hmm.... do they have to be assembled? If I remember right, there some available such as Heathkit.

  7. Gomez Adams

    My knees have long gone past being happy to get up an flip sides every twenty minutes just for me to get annoyed when a favourite record has a scratch across it. :(

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vinyl vs CD

    It was always so easy to play an album and roll up a little something while listening - the only risk was that when the vinyl disk was put back in the album cover and you were still smoking and rolling, occasionally a little piece of hash would fall out and burn through the cover into the album, I still have a track on a Jefferson Airplane album that doesn't play any more.

    This has never been a problem for me with CD's, a CD cover is too small to do anything fun with so they are nowhere near as much fun.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Vinyl vs CD

      On the plus side for CDs, it's a rare album where you'd want to repeatedly listen to every single song, so it's useful that skipping the filler is only a button press away (ditto the song that's so damn good that once isn't enough).

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Vinyl vs CD

        And CD's work so well in a car! The biggest benefit is clearly no bumping and jumping as you drive but also, if you get pulled over for speeding, then just pull the Bob Marley Natty Dread CD out, and put a CD in playing the Enigma Variations and it will be a very brief stop without a vehicle search.

  9. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Correction

    Record scratch: Ikea now sells turntables Chinese scrap plastic and metal formed to look like a record player.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Correction

      Ahhh, you mean Chineseium!

  10. Paul Herber Silver badge

    That spiral groove on a record reminds me of something. Oh, yes, I know ... the approved path around an IKEA store!

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Approved Path?

      So, the scratches are the translation of the "shortcuts"?

  11. Martin Summers

    Vinyl being appreciated again, oh how the tables have turned.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      The tone of your post is disarming.

      1. RobDog

        On balance, that reply gave me the needle

        1. Munchausen's proxy
          Pint

          Time to skate away from this thread.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Sounds like yer puck's done slipped off yer spindle.

  12. Bogbody

    Audiofools

    Oh dear - I though I left arguments about silver-mica vs ceramic capacitor in the audio path behind in 1999.

    Seems I was wrong....

    My goodness there was some utter bolly-arcs uttered on the subject ....

  13. Andy 73

    Not unexpectedly..

    ..the subject gets a lot of techies mansplaining to each other how good/bad/indifferent vinyl is when compared to the latest technology... whilst missing the point that, rather like the Japanese tea ceremony, the point isn't actually the tea.

    A halfway decent turntable and amp will (does) sound infinitely better than a crappy PC and speaker combination, whilst being far more expensive and inconvenient as a music delivery mechanism.

    The bigger point is the pleasure of owning a physical object that complements the creative act, and putting aside a little time to listen to the music. Nyquist theorem aside, coloured vinyl is cool, sleeve notes are fun, and look at the cover art.

    It's certainly not about the quality of music - we make a million and one compromises to listen to music when and where it's convenient (from Alexa to bargain basement headphones), but sometimes good enough is... good enough when there are other benefits to be had. Teenage kids though the years understood that, and, with the resurgence of vinyl clearly still do.

    Anyway, please go back to explaining your deep grasp of audio theory again. It's riveting.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Not unexpectedly..

      No it doesn't "sound infinitely better" and it's hard to understand why you think so. Virtually every vinyl LP produced in the last 40 years has been digitally mastered so you're playing digital after it has been converted & compressed as analogue and then when you replay it you get all the pops, crackles, wow and flutters on top. And by "compress" here I mean altered dynamic range.

      If you have a collection of vinyl records then enjoy them but don't for a second think they sound better than CD pressed from the same source because they don't. And people buying new players or vinyl are just hipster idiots if they think otherwise.

      1. snowpages

        Re: Not unexpectedly..

        Read it again: he did say specifically "a crappy PC and speaker combination" and not "digital in general".

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Not unexpectedly..

          Yeah well my digital audio sounds better through my PC speakers than vinyl through a pair of poundland earbuds. I hope you see the point of me ignoring that point.

        2. KBeee Silver badge

          Re: Not unexpectedly..

          When you've got a nephew that sticks his phone into a glass bowl to listen to music and thinks it "sounds ok" I think Ikea are onto a winner, no matter how crap their turntable sounds.

          1. keithpeter Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Not unexpectedly..

            @KBeee

            Does your nephew realise that he is recapitulating the history of radio broadcasting?

            https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co35025/brownie-crystal-receiver-and-pair-of-lissen-headphones-1924-1927-radio-receiver

      2. Nematode

        Re: Not unexpectedly..

        "Virtually every vinyl LP produced in the last 40 years has been digitally mastered"

        Yep, but at a much higher sampling rate and bit depth than a CD can hold. "Even" a CD is degraded from the original recording.

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Not unexpectedly..

          > "Even" a CD is degraded from the original recording.

          No it isnt.

          You dont understand what sampling is, nor why the rate is high, nor why the CD at it's rate is as prefect as the higher rate.

      3. Andy 73

        Re: Not unexpectedly..

        Well done for completely missing the point - in fact rather illustrating it. Perhaps you might re-read what I said.

        Specifically, at no point did I say vinyl is better quality than CD. The observation is that a large percentage of people put up with audio systems that are merely "good enough" - whether that's a smart home speaker or nasty laptop speakers.

        Against that low baseline a moderately inexpensive turntable can hold it's own and even impress, and the overall "ownership experience" has it's own rewards when compared with abstract digital downloads. It turns out that people who enjoy music like to collect physical tokens of the bands they follow - who knew?

        Meanwhile, people who leap in to argue about the technicalities of audio reproduction (just as you did) suck all of the joy out of the room in their rush to regurgitate their knowledge. Yes, a good digital system can exceed the quality of a hundred year old technology. It just turns out many people don't care.

    2. Dizzy Dwarf

      Re: Not unexpectedly..

      I've heard cheap crappy PC CD-ROM drive's audio out played through good quality speakers (because the amp/cd-player weren't going to be delivered for a couple of days) ... and it sounded excellent.

      We expected it to sound awful. Very surprised on how good it sounded.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not unexpectedly..

        I'm guessing that was back when the an alnaogue audio out was used on the CD player to the soundcard, and could be by-passed to play it through something better. Anyone doing that these days will only get the option to play the digital stream through the onboard sound chip if they even have a CD/DVD player in the computer.

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Not unexpectedly..

          Actually I think the poster is referring to the headphone jack on a CDROM drive, of the correct vintage.

          Those were the days, and yes, it sounded pretty decent in my headphones. The volume control was quite loud too!

  14. 45RPM Silver badge

    I’m still playing records on the same Technics SL-7 that I was using forty years ago - albeit that everything else in my hifi set up has changed. And as for the naysayers who say that vinyl sound quality is rubbish, well you’re wrong. And you’re also right.

    If the record player is good quality (most aren’t), and is fitted with a good quality stylus (most aren’t), and the vinyl is a well looked after and high quality heavy pressing (most aren’t) then vinyl sounds superb and has a tactility to it that not even a CD can match. Is it as good in absolute terms as a lossless digital file - well, that depends on what the source of the file was and the bit rate that it was encoded at. It also depends on what you listen to it with. Most people listen to music on their TV, or on a micro system with cheap speakers, or on a sound bar - and I promise you that my old analogue system will knock seven bells out of any system like that, before making a start on higher end systems (and then, at some point, getting handed its hat)

  15. gnasher729 Silver badge

    I always wonder if someone is ever going to use powerful computers to improve the sound. Take just an iPhone; GPUs capable of gazillions of floating point operations per second, and AI chips even more powerful, that should be good enough to take raw input from the players needle, and fix all sound problems easily.

    I have two CDs with piano music where the source material is a 40s radio recording (that is someone sitting there with a microphone held to the radio speakers). It should be possible to reconstruct the sound from that, how it would have sounded in the same room with the piano. At a less awful source, take any sixties recording which has just awful sound quality.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      "Improve the sound" is subjective. Some people think vinyl sounds better, others disagree - and they always will because it's subjective. My mum liked her music centre's treble control all the way down and the bass all the way up cos, well, that's how she liked it.

      "It should be possible to reconstruct the sound....": if the goal is to reproduce the sound exactly as it was recorded then even that's a pretty dubious aim. Some people play their instruments straight into the desk and only hear it through headphones and monitors. Many albums are recorded one instrument/voice at a time and sometimes the vocalists and instrumentalists aren't even in the same country. The studio is a sterile sound environment and a band will sound different than they do on stage and what you hear is how it was mixed. Even seeing a band live doesn't guarantee that you're hearing it just as the band wants - every venue's sound is different and bands don't hear what they sound like out front - that's why many "live" albums are overdubbed in the studio.

      And remember, if you listen to rock music then the guitarist will have probably spent a fortune on amps and effects pedals to distort the sound in the first place!

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: And remember, if you listen to rock music...

        Were you thinking of, perhaps...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU5B53b9ntQ

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      > take raw input from the players needle, and fix all sound problems easily.

      The problem is that the computer doesn't 'know' what is an audio problem and what is actually the audio as was intended by the recording engineer.

      That said, some audio artifacts - such as clicks and pops - can be detected by a computer with a fair degree of confidence and then minimised. However, this isn't normally done on the fly when listening, but rather after the vinyl audio has been transcribed to a computer. Various filters, including de-hiss and de-click are available in many audio recording packages. YMMV.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New cassette players often came with a demo tape

    Does the new IKEA turntable come with a sample disc?

    “Best of the Swedish Chef”

    “Bork, Bork, Bork, Bork!”

  17. bazza Silver badge

    A relative has managed to build up an enviable collection of audio gear by indulging in that well known engineers' materials and equipment procurement technique crudely described as skip diving. During those years where analogue was really unfashionable you could get some fabulous gear from your average municipal tip.

    1. Ashentaine

      While it's not as lucrative an option as it was maybe 10 years ago, and depends largely on your location, trawling thrift stores like Goodwill can still yield some fantastic results for good quality vintage audio gear if you're not adverse to doing some cleaning and restoration.

    2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      > gear from your average municipal tip.

      I'm so jealous.

      In the UK taking something from the tip is a criminal offense. I have seen all sorts of things I would love to have, even retro computers.

      1. jake Silver badge

        "In the UK taking something from the tip is a criminal offense."

        What? You lot's law makers would rather fill in the tip than allow citizens to recycle, reuse, and/or repair old kit? Do your fuckwits-in-charge also claim to be "green" at every opportunity?

        1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

          So, your kid sees a radio on the tip, takes it home, plugs it in, get killed by the electric shock. Presumably, in the US, this isn't a problem because you can go back to the tip and shoot all the bastards that let her take it home and honour is satisfied.

          1. jake Silver badge

            What the hell are your kids doing at the tip unsupervised?

            Shirley they would be there with a parent/guardian, who can turn the coveted "broken" thingie into a learning tool? That's what my dad used to do, and I taught my daughter, and she's teaching her daughter ... Which leads to a lifetime of being able to fix stuff, instead of paying somebody else to fix it ... or simply tossing it because it is 'broken".

    3. DiViDeD

      skip diving.

      In Australia we have what are affectionately known as 'Council pickups', when estranged children, wives, etc take all the old fella's favourite tech junk and bung it on the pavement for thge council to ..erm.. pick up.

      Over the years, I have recovered a Nakamichi 700 & 600, an Akai 4000 & a GX7, my first Accutrac TT (a 4000), as well as numerous cassette decks, CD players, amps, tuners and more speakers than you can shake an audiophile's finger at.

  18. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    We are in the wrong business...

    Recently did some research on the current state of the hifi market and was rather shocked to learn that a humble (or rather non-hum-ble) mains cable could set you back £500 or more.

    Ok I get it that the juice coming though the wall socket can colour one's listening experience in some way, but if you're going to go to that extreme there needs to be some kind of "skin" to apply to your amp to mimic the acoustic characteristics of every recording studio in the land. Considering the allegedly impromptu nature of some of the finest work out there (Introducing...Rubén González is a good example), who cares?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNXQllVEtdo

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: We are in the wrong business...

      There is an awful lot of bullshit floating around in the Hifi world, almost like conspiracy theories. You can spend thousands on audio grade Ethernet for your digital streamer (!) although I haven’t yet seem any audio grade routers! You can spend thousands on speaker cable. You can spend tens of thousands on an individual speaker.

      I would argue that for under a grand on the amp, a couple of hundred per speaker and a few tens of quid on speaker cable (plus the cost of the source of your choice) you can come up with a system which would, in blind testing, satisfy any audiophile.

      Ultimately though, you don’t even need to spend that much. If your IKEA turntable and a Bluetooth speaker make you happy then who cares what anyone else thinks?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: We are in the wrong business...

        You are exactly right.

        a few tens of quid on speaker cable

        Not even that: five amp multicore mains flex is quite adequate for speakers; it's only if the cable is so resistive (i.e. thin) as to make a significant voltage drop across it that it does not allow the speakers to work properly.

        Many years ago I was requested by a local hi-fi enthusiasts group to do some blind speaker cable testing for them in a BBC studio. I agreed, with the provisio that I might include a cable of my own in the mix, also blind.

        That cable included in one leg a one ohm resistor in parallel with a power diode... none of them noticed.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: We are in the wrong business...

          That cable included in one leg a one ohm resistor in parallel with a power diode

          Ah, a unidirectional audio cable with low-inductance carbon feedback. Only £100/metre.

        2. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: We are in the wrong business...

          Whilst you’re right, I do like to use speaker cable but only because it’s flatter than mains cable and therefore easier to lay in the living room. Still doesn’t need to be expensive though. I got a large reel of the stuff for £20, enough to cable up both my systems (one stereo, one 5.1).

          I’ve still got some extra left - only, because it’s now been cut with audio quality wire cutters and it’s been qualified, it’ll now cost you a bargain £15K / metre. I’ll even throw in a certificate of authenticity.

      2. DiViDeD

        Re: We are in the wrong business...

        I haven’t yet seem any audio grade routers!

        May I present for your amusement This:

        The Fidelizer Audiophile Wireless Router?

        If you can think it up, an audiophile will pay big bucks for it.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: We are in the wrong business...

      Ok I get it that the juice coming though the wall socket can colour one's listening experience in some way,

      If your amplifier permits the ability to detect what sort of mains cable is fitted to it, then the power supply of that amplifier is seriously deficient. Apart from anything else, there's the whole electricity grid to consider, with various voltages, transformers, and phase selections before it gets to the socket on the wall... does anyone really think that the mains cable makes a difference?

      Well, anyone except someone trying to sell £500 mains cables, of course.

      1. AIBailey

        Re: We are in the wrong business...

        I regularly get adverts for "audiophile mains leads" pupping up on Facebook.

        I haven't bothered to click the "stop showing me this advert" option because some of the comments from folk that believe the nonsense are the most amusing part of my week.

  19. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    I remember...

    When I was in my last year of school we were encouraged to go on a succession of visits to companies around the London area to try and stimulate some interest in careers we might like to pursue. One of those visits was to a company that made supposedly hifi record decks exclusively for the export market. There were about four production lines, each of which was pitted against each other with scores of finished products completed that day prominently displayed for each line. On the day we went there was one poor woman in the middle of one line who was having a bad day. All of her line were scowling at her and the other lines were thinking of their performance bonuses. Quality Control consisted of plugging a finished unit in, shoving a couple of records on and seeing if they skipped when listened to. I won't embarrass the company - if they are still around - by naming them...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I missing something

    You use a needle in a groove to play the record and then piss away any edge you might have by digitizing it to play over Bluetooth ?

    I*s this not the audio equivalent of having a man with a red flag* walk in front of your Ferrari ?

    (*Let's note here I know that's an urban legend ....)

  21. TheProf
    Megaphone

    Large. Unsightly

    " records coming from new artists like Adele, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish."

    New artists? Adele's first release 2007. Swift's 2006. Hardly new artists. Eilish's recording career stretches all the way back to 2017.

    And isn't the vinyl revolution being lead by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Oasis and Pink Floyd?

    shorturl.at/ntFR0

    shorturl.at/bjwAR

    Anyway I only came here to say that the Ikea turntable is an ugly looking lump.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Large. Unsightly

      "New artists? Adele's first release 2007. Swift's 2006. Hardly new artists. Eilish's recording career stretches all the way back to 2017."

      Yeah, new artists. Bah! Kids today! Git of ma lawn!

  22. Nematode

    Come ON, folks

    This is a thread about hi-fi vinyl vs. CD, has been out for 24 hrs, and only 100 comments?!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love these comments sections

    "Oh but vinyl sounds better"

    No, it really doesn't, it sounds more pleasing to you and covers up a multitude of sins both in the performance, recording and pressing.

    I've heard similar arguments about bipolar transistor amps being worse than valve,then I was told MOSFET amps were worse than bipolar amps but in reality what was actually happening was the *better* technology was exposng the flaws in the piss poor source material.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: I love these comments sections

      "Oh but vinyl sounds better"

      No, it really doesn't,

      Depends on who is wearing it and how she moves. It's not all just about "look and feel" you know :-)

  24. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Age and beauty

    I have just realised that my Thorens TD 105 Mk 2 turntable is now over 40 years old. Checking out how much one could spend on a new 'record player' on the interpleb I found some amazing deals:

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/most-expensive-turntables/

    Whilst I suspect that they all sound a bit better than the new Ikea one, and even my venerable Thorens, I'll not be changing just yet.

    I mean, who (and whose neighbours) want it to sound as if Slade* are actually playing your living room?

    *A 'popular beat combo' from last century. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAQKI3JICvY (Warning - title (NSFW) may offend some of a sensitive disposition.)

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Age and beauty

      Me?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop wasting you’re time!

    When you’ve stood in front of a truly great guitarist playing a Fender Stratocaster through a cranked Marshall amp you know what good music sounds like. Anything else is a poor imitation.

    Not always the convenient and portable option though….

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Stop wasting you’re time!

      Take yourself to a classical concert. Then you can find out what real music sounds like.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Stop wasting you’re time!

        I went to the Barry Gray tribute at Royal Festival Hall... It was amazing.

        1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

          Re: Stop wasting you’re time!

          I had my own epiphany courtesy of a string quartet busking in Oxford's Cornmarket Street. Being a pleb who'd grown up on pop music played through a Sanyo music centre I had no idea that classical instruments could sound so good.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Stop wasting you’re time!

      "cranked Marshall amp"

      Is that cranked to the distortion inducing 11? Through more distortion inducing effects pedals? :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a Fender Stratocaster

      Poseur. Gibson ftw.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: a Fender Stratocaster

        I saw a documentary about deforestation and illegal logging in Madagascar and other '3rd world' countries. Much of the ebony and rosewood for guitars is difficult to source legally. When they interviewed the head of Gibson about where the guitar fingerboards etc. actually came from he gave the most convincing impression of someone caught in the glare of publicity I have ever seen on TV.

        Whatever guitar you get, if it includes any wood at all, make sure that it is sustainably and legally sourced, please.

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Stop wasting you’re time! @Fender strat

      With the deliberate intention of starting a completely different flame war, would that be an early '60's strat, one of the absolutely terrible ones from the '70s, or one of the posy signature editions that they like turning out now.

      And is a US made one better than a Mexican one? Or how about a Japanese one vs. a Chinese one (all made by Fender).

      My vote would be for a Gibson Les Paul Custom from the late '50s.

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

        Re: Stop wasting you’re time! @Fender strat

        Fender's reputation certainly took a big hit thanks to CBS's various misdeeds back then. As much as I love the sound of the Precision bass, I held off actually buying one until fairly recently because of that. I now have an actual Fender P and a Jazz made about 5 years ago and both are really lovely instruments (though my ancient Columbus knock-off still has a killer JJ Burnel tone even though I don't have a tenth of his talent!) At least during the years I was too suspicious of Fender to buy their stuff I discovered the MusicMan Stingray which is a beautifully-made instrument and a delight to play, and while not sounding the same as a Precision its bouncy, enthusiastic tone is a lot of fun. But of course you get the same arguments about wither MM was better in the pre Ernie Ball days and I'm staying well out of that one!

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Stop wasting you’re time! @Fender strat

          Unfortunately, I can't actually afford the Les Paul Custom I would like, but I do, like you, have a Columbus knock off of one.

          It's really a bit of a decoration now, as I am mainly a classical player when I do play, but I did have a bit of an go at improving it as best I could, as something to do, but you can't really put lipstick on that pig (it has a ply body with a moulded, not carved top, and a bolt-on neck).

          I stopped when I realized that I would have to reposition the bridge to be able to get it to tune properly (on later model Les Pauls, Gibson angled the tunamatic bridge to effectively lengthen the lower strings, which would then allow the correct fine adjustment using the bridge adjusters), but this knock off has a bridge parallel to the nut. It plays OK, but it's not great, and the bottom E is never perfectly in tune at the higher frets. Lighter strings and reducing the action helped, but it just won't tune perfectly.

          When I was at collage, I played a 12-string in a band where the main guitarist played a Columbus Les Paul Custom, the same model (but not the same one, unless by incredible co-incidence) which suffered the same problem. I understood guitar set up less well then, but now I know what the problem was.

    5. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Bronze badge

      Re: Stop wasting you’re time!

      ...or a Rickenbacker bass by some dude with a moustache through the same setup. I dunno if the acoustics of the then Hammersmith Odious were up to much, just that I was so knackered by the time I got there that I fell asleep and was quite a lot deafer when I woke up again.

  26. Old69

    "[...] there's only so many ways to drag a needle over a disk. "

    I bought an interesting LP record player from a charity shop - IIRC made by Sharp. The record was loaded on a tray like a CD. Apparently the needle head was not on a swivel arm - but on a linear track. The really useful bit was that it had two heads - so it would play both sides sequentially without having to pause and turn the record over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember one such device being advertised as a portable record player. Unfortunately to keep the needle in the groove it pressed the tone arm into the record with considerable force, and wore the records out in no time.

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Sharp also produced ones that were vertical in the 80's & played both sides.

      Annoyingly they came out after I bought my first one.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      I had one of those! Still got some of the cartridges for it and the manual. Yours if you want them! It was the Sharp RP... erg... memory fail. Also sold badged as the Realistic RP-100 I think. Orange and green light up thing on the front.

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      @Old69

      Techmoan on Youtube has reviews of several linear tracking turntables.

    5. DiViDeD

      Re: play both sides sequentially without having to pause and turn the record over

      I have a couple of linear tracking decks, as well as a Zero 100 with it's 'revolutionary' tangential arm (the headshell angle adjusts as it moves towards the centre, keeping it in line with the record groove), but I never trusted Sharp to get the pressure right for an upside down cartridge that needed spring loading to keep it in contact with my precious vinyl!

      A couple of years ago I looked at the ELP Laser turntable as a way to reduce wear damage, but got a bit worried when I looked at the extensive cleaning process and careful handling and storage needed because the laser would just as happily track a speck of dust or fluff as it would a groove!

      Truth be told, everything I'm likely to want to listen to (as well as a lot of stuff I hope to never hear again) has been transferred, first to tape then to digital, but some occasions call out for the unsleeving and careful placement of 12 inches of plastic with a hole in the middle.

  27. Crypto Monad

    Obergränsad

    Sounds like it ought to be Swedish for "great-grandad".

    Does it come with Woofers and Tweeters?

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: Obergränsad

      A Gram-O-Phone?

      No Gram-O-Phones in 'ere, grandad!

  28. Danny 2 Silver badge

    "there's only so many ways to drag a needle over a disk"

    My sister's posh uni flatmate in the early eighties had a vertical turntable. Did it sound better? No. Was it better for the vinyl? I doubt it. Then why? Because effing cool.

    “We choose to build a vertical turntable in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. Also we're going to the moon.” - JFK

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: "there's only so many ways to drag a needle over a disk"

      Vertical TT was meant to save space. If it played both sides without intervention that was also a nice bonus.

  29. William Higinbotham

    Soldering Iron and Hand Tools not included:-)

  30. Mike Richards

    Looking forward to the Techmoan review

    Matt over at Techmoan on YouTube has to review this.

    1. Mr Dogshit
      FAIL

      Re: Looking forward to the Techmoan review

      Okay, let's cut to the chase. Pictures of it don't show a lid and show the RCA sockets on the right hand side, not hidden round the back. That's two epic fails for me already.

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: Looking forward to the Techmoan review

        RCA Sockets? It's the green colour that puts me off.

        https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/lillabo-turntable-10343856/

  31. The Mighty Spang

    judging hipster barista face

    lets face facts

    you can't be pro environment and use vinyl. Its a waste of resources to create something you don't need and its very creation is toxic

    it leaks horrible chemicals into YOUR air as well.

    everything is sourced from digital now, even the masters for your toxic records. what you need is a graphic equaliser so you can dial in that sound that you like from a good digital source. granted it wont give you the crackle but sit there with the plastic wrap from a fag packet and just crinkle that every now and then to give you the same effect.

  32. Valeyard

    Cheap

    I like vinyl; My daughter wants to listen to music at night while she nods off and gets bored if I play the same thing a few days in a row.

    cheap functional turntable for a tenner, classical music vinyls at 1 or 2 for a quid in any charity shop you care to name, so easy to slap on a record and put a stylus down even a child can do it. perfect!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheap

      The same can be said of CDs. You can get a whole symphony in one continuous play - apparently a CD design criteria. They are also probably easier for a child to insert - unless you go for the 3 to 5 multi-CD players. Although some plastic cases can be tricky to press at the right point to make them open. Charity shops almost give CDs away now - and they are more forgiving of rough handling than vinyl.

      Some CD players will play CDs on which you have ripped MP3 files. That will accommodate the whole of Handel's Messiah without being too low in quality.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait a second. Dance music DJ's designed a turntable without pitch control? How is this possible?

    1. Valeyard

      Dance music DJ's designed a turntable without pitch control that isn't a laptop?

  34. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Obergränsad" means "Unlimited", BTW.

  35. anonanonanonanonanon

    Record players are a bit more than dragging a needle over a record

    There are quite a few ways a record player can be terrible. Crappy motors lead to wow and flutter, or even incorrect speeds, poor isolation means you won't be able to play records above a certain level due to feedback, crap tonearms lead to poor tracking and skipping. At least the cartridge appears to be replcable.

  36. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

    Record Collecting?

    Record collectors are a funny lot. Many of them don't actually need a turntable as they don't want to listen to their precious investments.

    Here's a great example of how ridiculous the collectors market is. I was recently in a record shop and the discount section contained a album for £10 that would usually sell for £60 at the very least - I have seen it for over £100. The reason for the discount was that the sleeve was falling apart. The vinyl itself was absolutely mint, but the sleeve was a mess. There's absolutely no way I would pay the normal asking price for this album after all you get get is new for less than half that, but for £10? Sure. Got it home and it sounds great.

    There's a load of nonsense talked by collectors about original pressings being better than current pressings. Thus keeping the price of earlier pressings high.

    All of which proves that that the collectors aren't really interested in whether vinyl actually sounds better or not. They are interested either in money or maybe just the perceived elitism that comes with rarity or exclusivity. In that respect they are no different to most other collectors.

  37. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

    "But what of sound quality? According to Victrola, modern players aren't manufactured with the same attention to detail when records were the primary source of home music, meaning modern players don't sound the same."

    Back in the day they were players made with great attention to detail and some were pile 'em high sell 'em cheap built down to a price rather than up to a standard and they didn't sound so good.

    The same is true today, but the top of the range stuff is better than it ever was due to more modern design and manufacturing techniques. Ironically of course those improvements come from digital technology.

    The difference today is that it's harder to find a mid-range turntable. Something with good (if not perfect) reproduction but not costing the earth. Which is why I'm still using an old turntable from the nineties. I've never been in the financial bracket that would allow me to spend many hundreds if not thousands of pounds on a turntable, but I've always preferred something a few tiers above the low end crap that makes up 99% of turntable sales these days.

  38. anonanonanonanonanon

    I Don't think it's just about the Audio Quality

    There's many a thread here on the sound quality of vinyl, I'll leave that, I just wanted to add another reason people might buy records. Maybe it's just owning something physical? All the younguns nowadays get everything digitally, they don't "own" any music, just favourite an album.

    Vinyls are actually really nice, as physical objects, you get a nice bit of cover art, possible a decent amount of liner notes, you might even get coloured vinyl. You get collectors editions, and if looked after, last an awful long time and can have a good resale value.

    I myself use to buy vinyl, I still buy albums, complete ones, from an online place, but digitally. It's usually not that much more to get the record, and you usually get a digital copy with that as well, and I find myself missing just owning the things and holding them in your hands.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Vinyls are actually really nice, as physical objects,

      ISTR Santana Lotus was the most elaborate packaging for a vinyl album I've ever owned. At the time it was a big talking point but probably one of my least listened to albums as (1) it was hassle unpacking the required disk to play (2) it wasn't that compelling as an album. I gave it away in the end...

      Trouble with collecting vinyl/cd's is that companies keep revamping albums with more or less the same tracks over and over again with maybe one or two new tracks for interest. Supposedly with vinyl the masters can be certified as destroyed, not so easy to prove with cd's.

      Many years ago one of my customers was a company that produced CD's, generally budget compilations, but they somehow acquired a copy of early material by Bruce Springsteen which they maintained they had obtained his approval for. They didn't and The Boss sued them to oblivion. They had to account for every single pressing they had and all copies were destroyed.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I Don't think it's just about the Audio Quality

      I just wanted to add another reason people might buy records

      The covers. Prog albums *always* had the lyrics on the inside covers. Some CD releases would have a lyrics booklet but it got more and more rare. And some of the album covers were frankly amazing artwork. Still didn't make up for the easy degradation of the medium though.

      Yes, you can look them up online (although most of the online lyrics sites will make out like they have a match but, when you go to the URL, it's a blank sheet where they want you to put in the lyrics)..

  39. teknopaul Silver badge

    That ain't no 1210

    "Compared to vintage turntables, modern ones aren't that different - there's only so many ways to drag a needle over a disk."

    That's sooo not true. No new deck compares when scratching.

    The difficulty is getting low wow and flutter, after changing the pitch. Assuming you are DJs (which Swedish House Mafia are) there are still no decks out there that even slightly compare to technics 1200 or 1210 when it comes to manually moving the platter then dropping a track that you expect to play immediately at constant pitch.

    The pictured deck from IKEA looks like a joke and not about to be used in clubs. Hanpin will do you a better fake technics that at least less you adjust the arm, but no manufacturers have yet reproduced the feel of a technics without a crazy cost. Technics themselves did it for 4000 a deck but their new reasonably priced decks just don't compare.

    You won't see that deck in any club that SHM play in and I imagine SHM will carry on playing off pioneer CDJs like everyone else.

  40. Big_Boomer

    Horses for courses

    I have never subscribed to the "Audiophile" market, but I do understand what people get from it. Hey, it's your money so if it gives you pleasure, good for you. Personally, I waste my money on motorcycles. ;-)

    My audio gear is highly varied. My "HiFi" in the lounge is an ancient (1990) Kenwood M-93 Midi system. The dead cassette player was replaced with an Eltax and the CD player with a Panasonic DVD player. I also fitted a Bluetooth receiver so I can play from my phone as well. The Linear arm turntable (P-83) sounds just as good as my Technics SL1200M3D, but both are inferior in range and clarity when compared to a CD in the DVD player. Yes, I am old enough that many of my Floyd, Genesis and Yes vinyl's are pre-digital and they just don't have the dynamics of a CD. Whenever I hear someone banging on about Digital Compression and ADC/DAC conversion artefacts I remind them of terms like RIAA Compression/Decompression, Wow, Flutter, Rumble, scratches, not to mention dust (yes, I do know how to clean my vinyl) and heavy footed people. None of those affect a CD player. The system gets used a couple of times per month, with vinyl getting played maybe twice a year.

    Elsewhere in the house I have half decent Bluetooth speakers in the bedroom to play MP3s from my phone whilst reading in bed and I have a Logitech Z906 5.1 system in the office which plays music when I am working. Both of these systems give excellent sound quality, but are not a patch on the Kenwood Midi which fills the room like no other system. They are however way easier to use and they don't have to be protected from the cats. <LOL>

  41. trevorde Silver badge

    Digitised nostalgia

    Went to a friend of my father's house many years ago. He had some jazz CD playing music from the 40's. It was a technically very poor CD as it had all cracks, pops and whistles of the original LP. However, if you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine yourself back in the 40's, listening to it on the wireless.

    That said, CDs are far superior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Digitised nostalgia

      "However, if you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine yourself back in the 40's, listening to it on the wireless."

      Apart from Radio Luxembourg's fading in the early in the evening - the UK AM music broadcasts generally sounded good. What radios of that era had was usually a very solid case and a large loudspeaker. The advent of transistor radios gave thin plastic cases and small speakers.

      Listen to a film's depiction of a 1940/50s radio in the background - lots of bass. I still use my Celestion Ditton10 speakers that were bought second-hand with my first wages in 1966 - for the then princely sum of £10. Small but heavy - and a smooth sound.

  42. Richard 12 Silver badge
    Coat

    Vinyl has so much more warmth than digital

    Especially if you burn the sleeve as well

  43. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    We still..

    .. have our high-end Technics sound system (turntable, dual cassette, AM/FM radio) system set up in the lounge (where we set it up when we moved in in 1997).

    One day I'll actually get round to actually connecting all the various bits!

    Never was a fan of vinyl - I hated that it had such a short clean-sounding lifespan even if you used really a good stylus. So, in the old days, if I bought some vinyl, I'd immediately record it onto a decent-quality cassette then store the vinyl carefully until the cassette inevitably died. Rinse and repeat.

    Then CDs came along - and I loved them. Then I got a Sony Minidisc recorder/player (and the utterly crap associated software that tried to enforce the only 3 copies rule by storing the data in an Access DB - blow away the DB, allow the software to rescan the music directory, problem solved).

    Then came MP3 player, Napster[1], Apple iTunes[2]..

    So much music, so little time. Happily, most of my chosen genres (prog, folk, jazz) are available in Apple Music DRM-free.

    [1] AKA 'Try before you buy' - I bought a lot of my current music after grabbing (often poorly ripped and tagged) music from Napster and discovered a lot of new bands.

    [2] And what a dire piece of software it was (and is since Apple Music is largely iTunes) - even on a Mac it's not exactly performant and has long-standing bugs (like shuffle play sometimes reverting to non-shuffle).

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] there's only so many ways to drag a needle over a disk. "

    What happened to the idea of using a laser for no-contact playing of vinyl. There was some research that suggested a vinyl record actually melted momentarily in contact with the stylus - which affected the sound.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Trollface

      You can still buy CDs

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