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The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

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The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby vinyl master » 01 Feb 2018 07:02

Take a look at this blog I recently came across...Some interesting thoughts from those in the know about the vinyl resurgence and where it's headed...

https://blog.discogs.com/en/future-of-v ... 2018_01_29

To quote Henry Rollins, "Every house and apartment should have records and record players in them...Things would be better!" =D>

And I think Ben and the others are right about Nielsen being out-of-touch on this! :?
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby JDJX » 01 Feb 2018 18:25

Interesting read.......

One point I would like to make ....
I think the price tipping point for people not purchasing new (single) LPs would be about $25 US.
Personally, I feel more comfortable at around $20

Human nature being what it is, I would also be more prone to purchase two LPs at $20 each than one at $25.
BTW, this is also why so many items marketed on TV are price at $19.95. A $20 bill is a comfortable price for most people.

Can the industry still make worthwhile profits in these ranges?
Will some greed kill the goose that is laying the golden egg?
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby majerjack » 01 Feb 2018 18:52

The future of music delivery by vinyl records is a subject about which I have often pondered following the advancements in digital audio and delivery technology. It may be easy to assess the current situation by adding up the sales numbers, but predicting the future is, in my opinion, much more difficult.

I believe that the Vinyl Revival is an historical anomaly. A number of reasons have been put forth by a number of people for the resurgent interest in vinyl records, all of which may have merit, but I don't believe any of them necessarily point to a bright future for the medium in general. The tides of history, technological advancement, and cultural and societal changes all seem to be pulling in the opposite direction.

For me, a question integral to the future of vinyl records is the availability of good vinyl records. I don't refer to the quality of the musical content, but rather the actual quality of the physical disc itself. The source recording used, the skill of the engineer doing the mastering and cutting, the competence of the pressing plant, the quality of the vinyl used to make the physical disc, all of these are variables that can affect the sound quality of the music coming off a vinyl disc, and each one of them can individually ruin what otherwise might have been a good-sounding record. Bad-sounding records can by themselves trip up the forward march of the vinyl resurgence, and if too many people pay a premium for a record that sounds like crap, they will stop buying records, and the resurgence will fall dead in its tracks.

I know that there are a few vinyl true believers in the business who have taken positive (and costly!) steps to produce good records, and they deserve the thanks of all who enjoy listening to vinyl. In all honesty, however, I think they are just plugging the holes in the center of the dike with their fingers while the sea rushes in from either end.

Sorry to be so gloomy. I'm not happy in my belief that vinyl records will go the way of the dodo in the not-too-distant future, but to think otherwise would be, in my opinion, wishful thinking. They may survive as a niche interest for aficionados such as we Vinyl Engineers, but I don't believe the broader revival will continue for very much longer.

Enjoy it while you can.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby JDJX » 01 Feb 2018 19:14

........I believe that the Vinyl Revival is an historical anomaly.......


Agreed......
BTW, so is the sort of a resurgence of tube use.
Us humans often long for/embrace things of the past while embracing new technology and things.

.........For me, a question integral to the future of vinyl records is the availability of good vinyl records. I don't refer to the quality of the musical content, but rather the actual quality of the physical disc itself......


I also agree with that.
I will also add that it also depends on the quality of the play back hardware of those who are new to vinyl
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby mythrenegade » 01 Feb 2018 20:18

The tube resurgence is interesting. Tubes “sound better when pushed” than solid state. But a really good solid state amp north of 100 Watts is nearly impossible to clip at volumes that don’t destroy your hearing. So what’s the point of tubes again? Warmth? If you want to change your sound an EQ or a digital EQ can do that.

I don’t have anything against anyone who uses and loves tubes. They look incredibly cool. And the sound is lovely. But I’m happy with my collection of early nineties solid state gear...

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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby JDJX » 01 Feb 2018 20:42

mythrenegade wrote:The tube resurgence is interesting. Tubes “sound better when pushed” than solid state. But a really good solid state amp north of 100 Watts is nearly impossible to clip at volumes that don’t destroy your hearing. So what’s the point of tubes again? Warmth? If you want to change your sound an EQ or a digital EQ can do that.

I don’t have anything against anyone who uses and loves tubes. They look incredibly cool. And the sound is lovely. But I’m happy with my collection of early nineties solid state gear...

Joel

Personally I use an inexpensive tube headphone amp as I just like the sound of it....particularly for classical music.
To me, it sounds a bit better than the HP amp in my NAD C-350 amp.
I really like my NAD amp otherwise.

BTW, I believe that that it's been shown that tubes are the most "benefit" in pre amps than in power amps.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby billshurv » 02 Feb 2018 01:56

The 'tube resurgence' was in the late 80s/early 90s. That's well done and dusted.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby JDJX » 02 Feb 2018 03:19

billshurv wrote:The 'tube resurgence' was in the late 80s/early 90s. That's well done and dusted.


Maybe in the UK but in the US, only tube die hards still used tubes with very few exceptions.

It was not really a resurgence as it was largely thought of to be the tube's last gasp in consumer audio. :)
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby Erin1 » 02 Feb 2018 09:42

I think the vinyl resurgence is a result of nostalgia, and experimentation by a younger generation. What is that vinyl sound the older folk speak of?
I also think that the recorded music industry has been promoting vinyl a lot, and since articles promoting vinyl are written by the mainstream media they are just working for their rich buddies- the music industry. Promoting their products, a sale is a sale right? Young people who think they are cool by going against the trend will realise they are being mainstream and the "cool" factor will wear off.

Great mastering sounds great on any format, and bad mastering sounds bad on any format. I think the resurgence is mostly fashion and curiosity driven, and once people start having expensive accidents with their records, hearing the wear and crackles, they will get over it. People wore those wide leg pants in the 90's. It was fashion, not practicality. Wide leg pants are gone now thank goodness.
Since vinyl is not really practical it will go out of fashion too. I'm confident that collectors and die hard enthusiasts will continue to maintain their equipment, and neiche manufacturers will be around for a long while, but I don't think the lauded sound quality of vinyl stacks up in reality. I'm fairly sure that vinyl survived through the 90's and 00's because people were dumping good records very cheap, and spendthrift music enthusiasts could get a great collection on the cheap. But with new records costing $25-30+++ and good examples of original pressings costing a small fortune this cannot be maintained.

Valves/ tubes give a unique sound which can be used for great effect in guitar amps and studio effects, and have a place in music production for years to come, but in my opinion, not great for playback. All this is simply my opinion in response to the question asked in the original post
Last edited by Erin1 on 02 Feb 2018 09:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby vinyl master » 02 Feb 2018 09:43

majerjack wrote:...and if too many people pay a premium for a record that sounds like crap, they will stop buying records, and the resurgence will fall dead in its tracks.

Enjoy it while you can.


Yeah, but too many people ALREADY are paying for digital downloads and MP3's that sound like crap...And so you see a lot of people like Neil Young (and his failed Pono) and others trying to make digital sound even better, but we already HAVE a better medium, and that is good-sounding vinyl...As many stated, Nielsen doesn't track the used sales and the Discogs sales, so the numbers are probably higher than what's being reported...And let's NOT forget...You could walk into a thrift store in the 60's and find records...Back in the 80's, I went into thrift stores and bought vinyl...Today, I can walk into a thrift store and...you guessed it...find records! As long as there are secondary outlets to find these things, I think there will be interested parties who will buy them...Will they always be a "mainstream" thing? No, but as long as there are niche collectors, they won't go the way of the dinosaur, either...Remember, vinyl has survived the onslaught of a.) cassette tapes, b. CD's and c. MP3's...When they start implanting some chip somewhere, all of this old technology will still be there, like all of our vintage turntables and stereo systems are there today...It is the true collectors who will be keeping it alive! Of course, I live in an area where Jack White has decided to build a Third Man Pressing plant, so I may be seeing things from another angle...Despite all the technological advances, I never gave up on my vinyl...I might have put it aside for a minute, but thanks to my vinyl mentor and my good packrat skills, I never actually gave up on it and since 1999-2000, I've actually continued to expand on it...

Of course, it does Help when the average buyer gets into it, too...That way, it helps fuels growth for the diehard audiophiles, as well! :D

And from what I've seen of the record and audio shows around here, the crowds keep getting bigger every year! 8)

Example: Last year...

36345

and then, THIS year...

40057

I can't be the only one who notices this...or am I??? :-k
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby Erin1 » 02 Feb 2018 09:59

Collectors have a sickness. They call it a hobby, but in reality, it is compulsive hoarding. They must complete the set! Haha. The average person is not a hoarder.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby Erin1 » 02 Feb 2018 10:03

"Remember, vinyl has survived the onslaught of a.) cassette tapes, b. CD's and c. MP3's..."

Actually, it didn't. The majority of sales since the 1990's have been CDs and more recently downloads. Every household in first world countries plays digital music. Only a handful play vinyl.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby vinyl master » 02 Feb 2018 10:19

And yet (as my 14,000+ LP's and 8,000+ singles can attest), vinyl is STILL not dead...WHY is that??? :-k

Maybe this book might explain more...

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Vinyl-Matter ... 185149863X

Of course, in many countries, CD's and MP3's are easier to hide, don't take up much room and are small and portable enough to be taken anywhere...In places where you can still buy record players, though, I would imagine there are still niche lovers helping to keep it alive!

And remember, no cassette, CD, or MP3 collection will ever be as big as Zero Freitas' collection of vinyl here... :shock:

https://thevinylfactory.com/features/in ... o-freitas/

He MUST be onto something to devote all his energy to the cause! :D
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby billshurv » 02 Feb 2018 11:09

JDJX wrote:Maybe in the UK but in the US, only tube die hards still used tubes with very few exceptions.

It was not really a resurgence as it was largely thought of to be the tube's last gasp in consumer audio. :)


If you look at hifi magazines of the time there were new tube manufacturers popping up on an almost every month. A few ( such as conrad johnson, ARC) are still around. Many others fell by the wayside, such as audible illusions. In UK only EAR really survived, mainly due to the quality of the products. I don't count the Fatman and its ilk of ipod docs as hifi products.

The revival was driven by the FUD that digital was too harsh and that tubes were needed to 'smooth' it out. Worked a treat at the time as a sales pitch.
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Re: The future of vinyl (from those who know!)

Postby Tinkaroo » 02 Feb 2018 11:44

I didn't read all of the opinions, but did note what one had to say.

The gist of it was that people who are new to the hobby need to get beyond just collecting for ownership's sake, and will need decent equipment in order to enjoy what is on their records.

In my opinion that doesn't have to cost a fortune, but does require some learning in order to get acceptable equipment, and set up properly. I think the smart ones would do well to reach out to an older friend or relative who has some experience with it in order to get set up properly. This website is helpful, but hands on is even better.
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