Amazon's top home audio product this holiday was a turntable, besting an Apple AirPlay-compatible r

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    What I don't understand is why people like Prof_Peabody have to make such asinine self-righteous statements about people who prefer vinyl over other formats. What difference does it make how people like to listen to music? What matters is that they listen to it and enjoy it anyway they want. There's no need to be condescending about it. I love my records, and I use digital media all the time too. Who cares how people listen?
    Thank you!!! I love my vinyl too. I recently pulled out my original soundtrack of "Star Wars" (a double-album), in preparation for going to see "The Force Awakens" with my nephews and nieces who are in their late teens.  They were blown away by the sound coming from my speakers. Mind you, I've played it many times over the years and it still sounded way better than the CD. I don't claim to be an audiophile or sound expert but I do own a great turntable and cartridge, vintage amp and newer speakers. I don't mind CD's and digital files or streaming for convenience; there's a time and place for it.  But sometimes, after a hard day at work, I just wanna go into my listening room, pick out a great jazz LP and listen to good sounding music.  Oh, and read the liner notes too.
    argonaut
  • Reply 22 of 48
    lkrupp said:
    kkerst said:
    Sooner or later (whichever comes first of course) those hipsters will realize the old farts were right. Everything is cyclical...next year they will be selling CD players again.
    And VHS VCRs too? Just asking.
    I think the hipsters are probably in love with the "idea" of vinyl. They are now realizing it was cool to actually that larger album art.

    I worked in broadcasting during the 80's. There were some amazing pressing/mastering houses. I remember, Atlantic was excellent, but the worst was Polygon and Mercury. You play a 45 once, and it was toast.
  • Reply 23 of 48
    Hey my dad got a turntable for his vinyl records.  Definitely must be a trend.  OTOH I am not even going to begin to tell you how old he is.  Let's just say really really really really really really really old.
  • Reply 24 of 48
    On the other hand, he did just send me his location with his iPhone 6, that he went down to the Apple store and got for himself.  So ... maybe not that old.
  • Reply 25 of 48
    What I don't understand is why people like Prof_Peabody have to make such asinine self-righteous statements about people who prefer vinyl over other formats. What difference does it make how people like to listen to music? What matters is that they listen to it and enjoy it anyway they want. There's no need to be condescending about it. I love my records, and I use digital media all the time too. Who cares how people listen?
    What I don't understand is why people have to say that someone describing their opinion of the quality of vinyl playback is asinine, self-righteous and condescending.

    As you say, who cares how people listen?  Listen to what you want, when and how you want, and enjoy.  Just don't think that all media are "reproduction-quality-equal" or that your ears are my ears.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 26 of 48
    1983 said:
    In the article above they mention that 32 percent of music sales are by CD, Vinyl and cassette...cassette! You can still buy music cassettes? I thought they went the way of the 78 RPM record back in the early to mid 90s!
    Last time I saw a cassette for sale was at some truck stop in the middle of the desert. I was curious if they still make cassettes so I did some searching. This is interesting:

    http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/09/the-cassette-tapes-comeback.html
  • Reply 27 of 48
    I said that because he was asinine, self-righteous and condescending. His post was dripping with all of those qualities. If you want to express your opinion, do it, without calling everyone else and idiot. Then your opinion might prompt an actual discussion about the merits of a recording method as opposed to "all those hipsters are wrong because I say so."
  • Reply 28 of 48
    sumergo said:
    What I don't understand is why people like Prof_Peabody have to make such asinine self-righteous statements about people who prefer vinyl over other formats. What difference does it make how people like to listen to music? What matters is that they listen to it and enjoy it anyway they want. There's no need to be condescending about it. I love my records, and I use digital media all the time too. Who cares how people listen?
    What I don't understand is why people have to say that someone describing their opinion of the quality of vinyl playback is asinine, self-righteous and condescending.

    As you say, who cares how people listen?  Listen to what you want, when and how you want, and enjoy.  Just don't think that all media are "reproduction-quality-equal" or that your ears are my ears.
    Allow me to veer off the path here just a bit. Most people who say this or that is better usually don't understand what they are talking about. The way I see it, 1) two arguments are valid: Digital sampling (let's hope at least 2x, but that's already old school, but let's stick to the fundamental Nyquist) is the most precise way to reproduce sound, neglecting compression and other fancy algorithms. 2) While analog recording technically will capture all frequencies (low "warmenth" overtones mixed in unintentionally by other frequencies) limited by the analog bandwidth of the audio chain, they usually result in horrible distortion off vinyl.

    In my opinion (just that, an opinion), 70's deep album tracks were captured very well on vinyl, but EDM and other formats are best left for a digital format.
    argonaut
  • Reply 29 of 48
    This would be shocking news if it was true. Unfortunately the writer doesn't understand Amazon best seller categories. The Jensen turntable was number in the Audio & Video Turntables category, not the bestseller of all home audio and theater products.
    nathanimal
  • Reply 30 of 48
    My cents: I have been listening albums since the 70's as a child. I used DJ in the early 90's and had 1000s of records as well as owned a record store until 1998. I still buy new albums. My turntable and records are in a convent place for me to play them and the sound is fantastic. 

    Besides all that, I have 5000 albums on my iMac and nothing beats convince playing it all on my iPad Mini, iPhone, and even my computer at work. 
  • Reply 31 of 48
    xbitxbit Posts: 371member
    Brian Eno said it best:

    Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.

    There is something wondrous about vinyl.
    edited December 2015 polymniabestkeptsecretargonaut
  • Reply 32 of 48
    Kind of a strange article.

    I just ran the same search for "Home Audio and Theater" products, and 6 out of the 9 top selling products were cables (the others were the Amazon Fire TV stick, Fire TV remote, and Echo). This seems like a poorly researched article.

    As for vinyl, these cheap USB turntables are piss poor representations of what the medium is truly capable of. The cheap needle and cartridge alone won't capture much of the detail that got cut into the groove to begin with. And the resonant plastic, lightweight tonearm, and lack of isolation will result in further mechanical losses from the vinyl. Spend $50 on a USB turntable, and you'll end up crap sound and digital files worse than 128k MP3 downloads.

    You want to get the most out of vinyl, you need to pony up for a decent turntable that can at least reduce resonances and external vibrations. And don't skimp on the cartridge. The cartridge will define the sonic character of the playback, and leave it up to the rest of the turntable components to maintain that signal integrity all the way through to the output.

    As far as formats go, the sound quality depends more on the mastering and recording than the playback medium. CDs CAN sound better than LPs, and LPs CAN sound better than CDs. It's all contingent on how the original mastering was done. The sad fact is that most music nowadays is mastered with the dynamics crushed into oblivion (look up "loudness wars"). After the early teething pains of the CD, recordings tried to increase the dynamic range over what was possible with LPs. But, in more recent years, mastering and recording practices have gone into maximum loudness mode. Bump up the average levels, and crush the dynamics in the process.

    So much vinyl now sounds better than CDs and digital downloads, because in many cases LPs are now ironically mastered with more of the dynamic range intact (it's telling, because even with LPs, the dynamic range has an upper limit in order to keep the needle from mistracking). It has nothing to do with the medium. More care needs to be taken in the LP mastering, because if the levels get set too high, then it will distort.

    If you go strictly by what each format is capable of, digital audio SHOULD capture more of what's on the original recording. The fact that it often doesn't points more to how the music is released, than what the format is capable of.

    That said, the quality of playback for CDs and digital audio generally starts with a higher floor than vinyl. Even with a cheap CD or digital audio player, you'll have a much higher baseline of sound quality than you would with a $50 USB turntable. If you want vinyl playback that's competitive with digital audio and can surpass it (depending on how well the LP was mastered and pressed), then it will cost you.

    I have a modest LP collection and 25-year old midrange turntable. Always sounded good, but upgrading to a higher end Ortofon cartridge (list price $300, bought on special for half off) a few years ago really made my LPs come to life. And the digital files also sound excellent, because I can keep the levels below clipping and avoid losing dynamic range in the process. Nothing fancy, just run an output from my receiver to my iMac, and capture as uncompressed audio.

    edited December 2015 cnocbuiargonaut
  • Reply 33 of 48
    kkerst said:
    sumergo said:
    What I don't understand is why people have to say that someone describing their opinion of the quality of vinyl playback is asinine, self-righteous and condescending.

    As you say, who cares how people listen?  Listen to what you want, when and how you want, and enjoy.  Just don't think that all media are "reproduction-quality-equal" or that your ears are my ears.
    Allow me to veer off the path here just a bit. Most people who say this or that is better usually don't understand what they are talking about. The way I see it, 1) two arguments are valid: Digital sampling (let's hope at least 2x, but that's already old school, but let's stick to the fundamental Nyquist) is the most precise way to reproduce sound, neglecting compression and other fancy algorithms. 2) While analog recording technically will capture all frequencies (low "warmenth" overtones mixed in unintentionally by other frequencies) limited by the analog bandwidth of the audio chain, they usually result in horrible distortion off vinyl.

    In my opinion (just that, an opinion), 70's deep album tracks were captured very well on vinyl, but EDM and other formats are best left for a digital format.
    Digital can be more precise, but mastering practices often negate that advantage by going for maximum loudness. Can't do that with analog, otherwise it will distort. Vinyl can capture a surprisingly high dynamic range and frequency range. The trade off is with how long the mastering engineer intends to make each side (higher dynamic range = shorter playing time), and whether they're willing to risk mistracking on cheap/improperly setup turntables. Common mastering practices with CDs and digital downloads have unintentionally turned LPs into the "dynamic" sounding medium. The theoretical arguments are less relevant when so much digital audio is now aimed at sounding good enough on car audio, Bluetooth speakers, and earbuds.
    edited December 2015 argonaut
  • Reply 34 of 48
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,135member
    Even if one were wanted to play vinyl and have it sound good, these turntables are total garbage and sound even worse.
  • Reply 35 of 48
    The only people who really believe the vinyl is a decent recording medium are those too young to remember what it was like when that's all we had.  I struggle not to laugh out loud when some young hipster is trying to convince me of the superiority of their vinyl records and how they capture the "true sound" of the  artist and all that BS. 

    Speaking as a former owner of a 10,000 record collection (when vinyl was king) ... the sound quality is awful, even a single play of a record basically ruins it, the equipment is ridiculously "fiddly," it also produces heavily distorted sound and is as about far from "archival" as one can get.  

    Even back in the day, a real collector would only play their vinyl record for the one time that was necessary to transfer it to tape or CD.  Then they played the tape or the CD and put the vinyl away.  Vinyl not only sucks, it pretty much always has. 
    What? You're so unknowledgeable, you're not even wrong. Amassing vast quantities of vinyl records is ok. But what is unpardonable is that you have no idea how you could have properly played the, and demonstrated that properly recorded vinyl, played back on good equipment blows away 'perfect sound forever' CDs. I speak from experience, and never appreciated the 'wall of sound' experience from CD. But don't let this as an anecdotal post, suggest you look beyond the end of your nose. You don't have to believe what I say, but try a trip to a decent hi-fi shop with a decent analogue vinyl setup for a demo. If after hearing what that can do, then you can write, and see if you still feel the way you do.
  • Reply 36 of 48
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,077member
    I'll always love the act of putting the needle on the record and hearing that bass-heavy needle drop pop and the first couple revolutions of record hiss before the music starts. I realize it is completely unscientific and runs counter to all quantifiable measurement of 'quality' reproduction. In my case, there are some albums I prefer to listen to on vinyl because of the physical aspect of the experience: Needle drop & flip after a certain track. A couple that come to mind are The Police's Zenyatta Mondatta or Bob Marley's Rastaman Vibration. I own both on digital, but I usually reach for them in the record bin instead.

    I certainly love a super-high quality digital recording for its own character as well.

    On a website full of specification nerds like this one, I feel compelled to defend the vinyl experience.
  • Reply 37 of 48
    djkfisher said:
    I wonder how many of these they sold :)


    Isn't that the automatic lunch feeder that fed Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times?
  • Reply 38 of 48
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member
    Analog does contain more information, but whether or not it is perceptible by our ears is another thing. What vinyl does contain is nostalgia and for many, that is why they enjoy these inferior beasts. It gives them joy to handle the black plastic thing, select the right speed, gently set the needle just so, and warmly sit back as they listen to those first few crackles before the song starts.

    I have the same reaction with older Harleys. You have to set the choke, prime them a bit, learn the subtle nuances of the throttle, and then pray as you turn it over that all your variables will result in that satisfying THRUMP! as it starts. Yeah, I admit, you can't get this visceral, emotional response with a fuel-injected, modern cycle.

    I could be wrong. Maybe vinyl is superior. I just remember the warping and strange output and crackles, static and skipping. I never developed a love for trying to eke out the perfect sound out of my record player. My niece loves her new record player, however.
    jahbladeargonaut
  • Reply 39 of 48
    This turntable doesn't play 16 RPM records? Fail!
  • Reply 40 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    kkerst said:
    Sooner or later (whichever comes first of course) those hipsters will realize the old farts were right. Everything is cyclical...next year they will be selling CD players again.
    At least I still have all my CDs in boxes in the attic.  All my LPs were given away :(
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