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Re-Discovering Vinyl......and learning a few things!

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
I haven't been on the boards much lately, as I've been happily listening to my 1500+ vinyl records through my speaker system.
I recently picked up a vintage Empire 598 II turntable from the early 70s, and have learned a few things that may be of help to anyone considering getting into vinyl.
1. Compared to CDs, vinyl is richer, warmer, fuller sounding. But, then, most of you knew that already.
2. I've been listening to a variety of cartridges (Shure, Ortofon, Stanton, Grado), and was amazed to find significant sonic differences among them. Just as in headphones, each imparts a signature sound to the music. I had always believed that most cartridges sounded pretty much the same, as long as they were in basically the same price range.
3. The quality of the turntable has a lot to do with the amount of surface noise heard through the speakers. I always thought it had more to do with the cartridge/stylus assembly. My least expensive TT, a Technics belt drive, yielded the most surface noise (a lot), while the Empire 598 yielded the least. Except for an occasional click, the background noise is pretty close to non-existent. It's amazingly quiet. Not CD quiet, but damned close.
4. The turntable mat affects the sound in a fairly significant way. The Empire came with a rubber mat. Today I made a mat out of a rubbery shelf liner material I purchased at the hardware store. It has a lot of little holes in it. The difference, while not night and day, could definitely be heard. With the new mat, the background noise diminished even further and I gained the ability to
hear nuances in the music that I was unable to hear with the original rubber mat.
5. Aesthetically, there is simply no contest between plopping a CD into a drawer and pressing play, and watching a vinyl record spin on a turntable. There is also the ritual process of playing a record.......brushing the surface and then attaching my Watts Dust Bug to the TT and having it clean the grooves ahead of the stylus. It's a proces that I'm enjoying immensely once again.
I hope I didn't bore anybody with my observations, but as i wrote earlier, I felt that some of the things I've learned may be of use to those of you who may want to get into vinyl. To my ears, it's worth the trouble.
post #2 of 67
Now Bob, just what have we vinyl guy's been trying to tell you for the last few years?

Oh well, better late then never...

I'm so glad you're re-discovering your records!

post #3 of 67
Joelongwood,

Glad to hear that you're getting back into the vinyl thing again. It's insanely addictive isn't it

I hear you when you mentioned about the ritual of playing an LP. I fell that I tend to connect more with the music because of the extra work that I have to put in with LPs. They are so... Tactile.

All you need to do now is to start saving for a Teres or similar and you're set

Enjoy.....
post #4 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Trawlerman
Joelongwood,
All you need to do now is to start saving for a Teres or similar and you're set

Enjoy.....
Mick, I have wanted this Empire turntable since the late 60s......but the cost was $400 at the time! I absolutely love the look and feel of it.......I'm done with buying turntables. Wait a minute, I said that about headphones about three years ago, and look where it got me.
post #5 of 67
Just pulling your leg on the Teres.

I'm really glad to hear that your happy with your turntable. I was just over at audiokarma looking at some Empire TTs and they look really nice. I can imagine that the one you have is an extremely high-end one. $400 is a decent amount of money now let alone in the 1960s

I'm looking to pick up a used (is there any other kind ) Thorens TD150 when I have the chance. Used to have one a while back and like a fool I parted with it.

Vintage TTs sound really great when they are set up correctly, but you already know that

I picked up a copy of Pearls 2 by Elkie Brooks on vinly yesterday from a boot sale. Listening to that again reminded me of the all the times I listened to it with my father back in the early 80s'. Great Days.
post #6 of 67
I have to disagree. Maybe it's an age thing, but digital definitely sounds far superior to me.

- Chris
post #7 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Trawlerman
I picked up a copy of Pearls 2 by Elkie Brooks on vinly yesterday from a boot sale. Listening to that again reminded me of the all the times I listened to it with my father back in the early 80s'. Great Days.
Yeah, Mick, I know what you mean. I think a lot of my enjoyment comes from the memories that playing the records evokes. I was just listening to some Billie Holiday albums that had belonged to my father......brought back a lot of good thoughts.
Good luck in your Thorens hunt. I have a Thorens TD-125 MarkII TT, which is an absolutely beautiful TT......I think all Thorens are great looking.
But to my ears, the Empire sounds as good or better, mainly because there seems to be less surface noise. But the major problem with the Thorens is that it doesn't have an automatic arm lift. The Empire has a really cool magnetic lift at the end of the record, so I don't have to hear whooosh, wooosh, wooosh all the time.
post #8 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by minya
I have to disagree. Maybe it's an age thing, but digital definitely sounds far superior to me.

- Chris
Don't get me wrong. I think Cds sound great most of the time. But, to my ears, there's just something about analog that sounds warmer and more inviting.
And I think you may have something with the age thing, Chris...........vinyl, to me, is like slippiing on a favorite pair of well-worn jeans. It just feels right.
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by minya
I have to disagree. Maybe it's an age thing, but digital definitely sounds far superior to me.
No, its deffinitely not an age thing.

I do 2/3 of my listening on vinyl
post #10 of 67
You know you're really selling me on the concept of retirement, more so than on vinyl, all that time to play with your toys! I really can't tell you how much I envy you.
post #11 of 67
Glad you re-discovered it. I agree with you about the involvement and quality of listening with turntables. I have a very high-quality digital source (cary 306/200) and a good turntable (MMF-9) -- the turntable sounds better -- more natural, better soundstage (not necessarily wider, just more natural), and overall more involving. It is not an age thing either, because I am 25...I never had a turntable, and I watched as my dad dumped several hundred records in a dumpster when I was a kid (not without my loud protests -- he likes to throw stuff out, I like to keep things around forever).
In any case, turntables are wonderful to use, and certainly sexier -- much more likely to help you land that indie chick -- just make sure that you switch back to cd before things get too amorous -- unless you don't mind a skipping record...
post #12 of 67
Quote:
[i]Maybe it's an age thing, but digital definitely sounds far superior to me.

- Chris [/B]
Perhaps it is not an age thing. I was born in 1962 an I share your views about vinyl vs. digital (and anyway I am too old for those indie chicks stuartr mentions in his post...)


Regards,


L.
post #13 of 67
My post was mostly tongue in cheek...
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally posted by stuartr
My post was mostly tongue in cheek...
Quit bragging about that indie chick
post #15 of 67
My son,

you must learn to use the turntable as a tool of foreplay. The typical vinyl side is 22 minutes. That should give you just enough time to come up for air and switch sides. The next 22 minutes should be enough for you to get the favor returned and THEN you put on the CD changer with a few hours of love grooves in the slots. Have you ever seen the relections a spinning record makes in a candle-lit room? My wife thinks that is just too sexy and it gets her goin' every time. Chicks dig vinyl and if you get good at it,you can use it to your advantage.

I'm glad you're into vinyl and I even happier still that you really understand that it's not just nostalgic.


Quote:
Originally posted by stuartr
Glad you re-discovered it. I agree with you about the involvement and quality of listening with turntables. I have a very high-quality digital source (cary 306/200) and a good turntable (MMF-9) -- the turntable sounds better -- more natural, better soundstage (not necessarily wider, just more natural), and overall more involving. It is not an age thing either, because I am 25...I never had a turntable, and I watched as my dad dumped several hundred records in a dumpster when I was a kid (not without my loud protests -- he likes to throw stuff out, I like to keep things around forever).
In any case, turntables are wonderful to use, and certainly sexier -- much more likely to help you land that indie chick -- just make sure that you switch back to cd before things get too amorous -- unless you don't mind a skipping record...
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