Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

When I started recently messing around with my 5.1 HT system, I thought I'd try listening to music again; it had been many years since I had listened on a regular basis - I'm talking 25+ years. I used to have a small record collection - LP's, 12", and a few very old 45's. Never really had good equipment, but I enjoyed the music nonetheless.

I moved to different formats as technology changed from vinyl to 8-track to cassette to CD never thinking about anything other than the convenience factor. But now that I am starting to listen to music again, and more critically now; I have to wonder what those old records would've sounded like on better equipment.

What I've read so far makes me think there is a lot more to vinyl maintenance than I realized - I never really took very good care of my records back then as I didn't realize their real value - it was just music to me then. And it was all about convenience back then, too.

It is regrettable that I didn't keep any of those records - not even sure what happened to them over the years - so I have no vinyl at the moment which brings me to the question; is it worth it to get back into vinyl just because I can, or is there any other practical reason to do so other than nostalgia?
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post #2 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 08:07 AM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

worth it?... depends on what you think. Vinyl is expensive to get into properly. My uncle sold a 71' Boss Mustang for 30k so he could buy a 25k turntable. Then you have the cleaner machine which is some 700, needles, power supply, and he has about 4k in isolation materials under it.

It sounds amazing though. Not sure how a 2k total setup would sound but overall Vinyl is more expensive since it's a "niche" market these days.

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post #3 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 08:11 AM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

I was a big vinyl collector in the 80's and early-to-mid 90's. I ended up ripping and selling my collection when my wife and I bought our first home and kids entered the picture. At the time it was a total space/convenience issue...but I've found myself missing the pure tactile nature of vinyl...feel and smell of the records (themselves), the artwork on the sleeves and covers...even the groove notes. There's really something to be said about the uniqueness of vinyl as a medium.

I know that vinyl can sound VERY good. It does take time/care (and the right equipment) to get it to that point. Lots of cleaning. ;-)

I guess jumping back into the vinyl game will really depend in your ability to derive pleasure from re-collecting music you enjoy. Are you the type of person that enjoys the thrill of the hunt? If you are, you might enjoy jumping back into the land of records!

On a side note, I was down in Washington, DC this past weekend and walked past three record stores...all of them had customers flipping through record bins. Great to see.
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post #4 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 08:31 AM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

Not worth it to me.....too fussy and high maintenance.
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post #5 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 08:40 AM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

Ive got a relatively cheap turntable, a Sony T20 (no idea what it is worth these days) it sounds ok and the 15 or so LPs and about 25 45s hardly makes it worth upgrading to anything better.
Im still in the camp that if the recording is done well a CD will beat the quality of most vinyl on a reasonably priced turntable. Sure there is something to be said about the feel and artwork of Vinyl and its nostalgic if nothing less.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
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Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900


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post #6 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

Quote:
Todd Anderson wrote: View Post
...Are you the type of person that enjoys the thrill of the hunt? If you are, you might enjoy jumping back into the land of records!

On a side note, I was down in Washington, DC this past weekend and walked past three record stores...all of them had customers flipping through record bins. Great to see.
I can appreciate a rare find, and I did walk past a record store this past weekend - couldn't help myself; I had to go in and check it out. Had no idea what I was looking for, but for some reason, it felt natural to me flipping through those bins...

Last edited by Philm63; 03-10-15 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #7 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 09:34 AM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

That might be half the fun of it...the other half is listening

I miss the days of flipping through a bin and finding something you've been looking for. One of my favorite record shops of the past was little joint in Silver Spring, Maryland called Vinyl Ink Records. Very reminiscent of the shop in Grosse Pointe Blank (which I'm sure could be found in a lot of places across the US back in those days).

The store looked like a dump from the street (in fact it was tucked away on a side street that was pretty unremarkable). It had an air conditioner directly over the entry door that dripped down on customers as they entered...the inside of the store, itself, was kind of dingy...but it was a treasure-trove of British Indie vinyl. I distinctly remember the excitement of flipping through a bin and finding a new EP...or a rare 7-inch...maybe a release in limited edition colored vinyl. It's a great feeling.

I was only in High School at the time (and used to drive an hour to get there)...it got to the point that the shop keeper would occasionally stash a small stack of records behind the counter for me. When I'd walk in he'd simply say: "Here, buy these." :-) Usually, the stack was laced with a rare McCarthy LP...the latests releases from small labels in England such as Creation Records or Sarah...bands and labels that are long gone.

Wow. I really miss those days.
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post #8 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 03:16 PM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

Oh where to begin!? I guess I should mention I listen about equally CD and vinyl, even though I own twice as many albums as CD's. Convenience can be king! So.. you want the bad news first or the good?

Yeah, vinyl hardware setup and maintenance are a hassle and cost extra. Yeah, record cleaning is definitely not a fast-food-society-microwave it-now-and-tan-in-15-minutes-because-I-need-instant-gratification-yesterday type of experience. Even getting up to change songs is a distraction. And speaking of distractions, one wrong move near the stylus (that's the "needle") can set you back money you don't want or have to spend... not to mention the beating your ego takes. And then there's the fact that even after all your labors of love, even brand-new records can have surface noise and tick-pops. For someone used to the convenience and pristine sound of digital, analog can be something of a disappointment at first. I grew up with it, so I can't say for sure, but I'd hazard a guess that it's an acquired taste for younger folks.

YET. . .

There's something about vinyl played back on a properly set up 'table (of sufficient quality) that connects me to the performance in a way that keeps me riveted and spinning songs well into the night in a way that digital cannot. Yes, a quality' table will set you back more than an equally performing digital player, but not outrageously so. And a more expensive analog rig will not be near as noisy and tick-poppy as it's cheaper cousins. About a thousand should do it for 'table, tonearm, and cartridge. That may sound like a lot, but consider what an Oppo BDP-105 costs. If that's too steep, even a complete modern rig of only $500 works sonic wonders.

And like others have mentioned, there's pride of ownership and accomplishment. Life-size artwork on the album cover is also a plus. And if you're older, you won't need a magnifying glass to read liner notes like most CD's.

Some online stores will let you try a product for 30-days risk free (except for shipping maybe). Look for names like Rega, Pro-ject, Music Hall, VPI, and Clearaudio.
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post #9 of 41 Old 03-10-15, 04:07 PM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

not sure I agree that you need an OPPO or equivalent CD player to get great CD sound. A $100 CD player will be almost as good. Thats the challenge "is the juice worth the squeeze"

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #10 of 41 Old 03-11-15, 07:37 AM
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Re: Thinking of Getting into Vinyl - Worth It?

Fair enough when you consider diminishing returns, but I'm undecided whether or not "almost as good" applies to any $100 player, especially in sighted tests that have "Mattel Close-n-Play" on their faceplates.

Thanks for the reminder; I didn't mean to mislead. With help from the knowledgeable members like you here at Hometheatershack, I'm still shaking off a lifetime of audiophile snake-oil and pseudo-science.

BTW, forgot to mention that some on-line stores will set up the cartridge before shipping.
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