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To Vinyl or not to Vinyl

Discussion in 'TTVJ Premier Sponsor Forum' started by dolifant, Jul 8, 2005.
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  1. Zanth Contributor
    Aman: Do you use a vacuum? I have read that vacuums are not necessary depending on the solution used. There are so many different opinions out there. One this is certain, I need some cleaning solution ASAP.
     
  2. jumping jupiters
    I've had success with LAST cleaning solutions...they make a potent cleaner and a daily cleaner. Got both from amusicdirect.com. Both bottles come with applicators.

    My regament is to clean a new record once with the potent cleaner...use my audioquest brush for the next few plays and the daily wash afterthat and then back to the brush (is that confusing?).

    Michael Fremer has a great article on cleaning at his site musicangle.com...it's on the front page at the bottom...it's called something like "zen and the art of record cleaning"

    Thinking about building my own cleaning machine with a wet vac and a motor from an old Fisher TT.
     
  3. dolifant Contributor
    I read the entire article you quoted on record cleaning, "Zen and the Art..."

    I must say that when he mentioned using endless clean orbitrac pads, donning gloves, 3 different solutions, in a specific order, drying brushes, brushes to clean the brushes...etc.,etc.,etc. A 5 page article to clean a disk, with the admonishment that if you don't do the whole process...don't bother, I was taken aback. If that isn't enough reason to stick with digital, I don't know what is. OTOH, he may have OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder)

    Seriously, does anybody actually do that procedure , and do you do that every time you play a disk? I don't have that much time. I used to use a disk doctor brush and put some D-1 fluid on it, and while the disk was spinning on my TT I'd "clean" the disk. Obviously I was(am) an heretic.

    I'll look up the Record Doctor machine.

    Comments, anyone!
     
  4. periurban
    I am an innocent abroad here, I know it, but are you guys saying that all the old evils of vinyl have been tamed. It's, um, twenty years since I listened to records, and to tell the truth I was glad to see the back of them. Of course, I miss the sleeves (and the smell). But I don't miss the experience.

    Here are the evils I remember.

    1) Having to get several copies of a record before finding one that didn't crackle or skip.

    2) Remembering to turn the volume down on the amp so that the lead in/out procedure didn't blow your speakers and your ears.

    3) Static.

    4) Dust.

    5) Surface noise.

    6) Distortion that increased towards the end of each side of the record.

    7) Having to clean the records and stylus without damaging either.

    8) Having to replace the stylus every so often.

    9) Remembering not to fall asleep and let the run out groove wear the stylus to a nub.

    10) Having to learn juggling to get the record out of its sleeve onto the deck without scratching it, fingering it or dropping it.

    Have they really solved all those problems?
     
  5. Aman
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by periurban
    I am an innocent abroad here, I know it, but are you guys saying that all the old evils of vinyl have been tamed. It's, um, twenty years since I listened to records, and to tell the truth I was glad to see the back of them. Of course, I miss the sleeves (and the smell). But I don't miss the experience.

    Here are the evils I remember.

    1) Having to get several copies of a record before finding one that didn't crackle or skip.

    2) Remembering to turn the volume down on the amp so that the lead in/out procedure didn't blow your speakers and your ears.

    3) Static.

    4) Dust.

    5) Surface noise.

    6) Distortion that increased towards the end of each side of the record.

    7) Having to clean the records and stylus without damaging either.

    8) Having to replace the stylus every so often.

    9) Remembering not to fall asleep and let the run out groove wear the stylus to a nub.

    10) Having to learn juggling to get the record out of its sleeve onto the deck without scratching it, fingering it or dropping it.

    Have they really solved all those problems?




    These problems can only be solved by you - and I have NONE of the problems you mention.

    If you put in the time, and the effort, vinyl will be a rewarding experience. If you decide that 600 dollars and your entire vinyl collection isn't worth your care, then go ahead and treat them like you did.

    Zanth: I disagree completely. I've been through all the ins and outs of record cleaning, and the RCM right now is the only thing that has given me good results. Record Cleaning Machines are essential to anybody who wants to listen to vinyl for a good percentage of the time. Trust me on this: I have used all different brushes, different methods, different fluids - the only thing that has given me the results I expected was the Vinyl Zyme/Record Doctor solution.

    Besides a tracking force guage, the only other necessity for vinyl is a record cleaning machine. It will allow for a better life of the vinyl, and also of the stylus and cartridge. Vacuums are the only way to go to get the results of a clean, quiet record. Dynamics and details all are improved - since you can hear SIGNIFICANTLY less surface noise and the stylus will have an easier time tracking, so you will hear better sound quality overall.
     
  6. Little J040
    I'm at least interested in hearing some vinyl. I don't really think I will go all out, Just want to hear some of my father's old Pink floyd and Rolling stones albums. Is cleaning them such a big hassle, and finger prints can screw up the record?? More than likely I'll be purchasing a used, 200$ or so TT from a head-fi'er, Just to get a taste. Also have an older reciever with a phono out so that shouldn't be a problem. What else is there for me to get?
     
  7. periurban
    Aman.

    So, the means of solving the problems I experienced is a secret, is it? Or is it only about money? I had thought that these issues were an intractible part of the vinyl experience. I had pals who had expensive systems, but the problems I described above persisted on their systems to varying degrees.

    Obviously, things have moved on since the dark eges of the 1980's.
     
  8. Zanth Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by periurban
    Aman.

    So, the means of solving the problems I experienced is a secret, is it? Or is it only about money? I had thought that these issues were an intractible part of the vinyl experience. I had pals who had expensive systems, but the problems I described above persisted on their systems to varying degrees.

    Obviously, things have moved on since the dark eges of the 1980's.




    I'll relate some of my experiences with vinyl thus far (I'm quite the newbie, only a few months into this game).

    Is vinyl inherently noisy? No. Does it possess the possibility of developing more noise than a digital format? Oh yes. Dust is a nasty thing.

    So the cleaning deal. New vinyl needs to be cleaned once because most new vinyl comes in those crappy white paper sleeves that leaves shreds on the vinyl. A brush with a carbon-fiber and then a wet wash and then a dry shoudl do the trick, then a quick dry brushing before each spin and one should be good to go.

    I have some older vinyl that is as quiet as cd, it was well taken care of and was kept in anti-static sleeves.

    As for sound, vinyl can actually present more detail than digital formats depending on the grade of the gear, the ability of the cart etc. There is one album I own that is brand new, and I have the cd as well. The vinyl has more microdetail, better dynamics and more bass. I believe the majority of the issues stems from the mixing/mastering, and not from the format specifically.

    Digital is much easier to live with, very convenient, quick and easy, pretty flawless in identical playback each subsequent spin. Vinyl won't degrade if the cart is setup properly. CD's won't degrade at all, and if the actual media starts getting "rot" (as was the case from a few shops back in the 80's) then it is easy peasy to just rip it and back it up and reburn. Vinyl? Heh, no.

    Is vinyl for everyone? No. It took me years of decision making before I finally went for it. I don't regret it, but I don't think that one needs a $$$$$$ system to get amazing sound out of an lp. The initial offering I had experience with ran about 200 USD tops and it was stellar.
     
  9. Zanth Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by periurban

    1) Having to get several copies of a record before finding one that didn't crackle or skip.




    New vinyl may crackle/skip because of the dust in the grooves, one wet wash will clear this up. If not, then I guess yeah, returning it is necessary. Not like scratched digital media never happens though...I can't say to what rate this happens compared with that of vinyl though. So far, I have not had to return any of my vinyl and I have predominantly bought new. (in fact my used vinyl has sounded better!)


    Quote:

    2) Remembering to turn the volume down on the amp so that the lead in/out procedure didn't blow your speakers and your ears.



    I have not had this problem, maybe because I only use headphones? In all honesty though, I habitually decrease the volume with any new disc (cd or lp). The only time I don't is with mp3's, but I do have to attenuate various tracks as they are often recorded at different volumes.

    Quote:

    3) Static.



    I am just now beginning to experience this. Though there are folks who believe cd's build up static, I don't buy into it that much at all. LP's? Oh yeah, I need to buy a zerostat gun. Storing them in anti-static sleeves should help minimize this, and these sleeves are better for the records anyway (higher grade, plastic so no shedding or scratching etc).

    Quote:

    4) Dust.



    For sure, cleaning is the major downside to vinyl, but in my last post I addressed this. One wet wash and then a simple dry brushing before each play should be enough. Perhaps an annual wet wash? Not sure yet, I'll let you know in a year [​IMG]

    Quote:

    5) Surface noise.



    Clean vinyl = no surface noise. I know I have some clean vinyl here. Dead silent. Get a super quiet phono like a Samuels offering or the Dynavector P75 I am using and it is BLACK.

    Quote:

    6) Distortion that increased towards the end of each side of the record.



    I am not familiar with this, what do you mean by distortion?

    Quote:

    7) Having to clean the records and stylus without damaging either.



    Cleaning records is easy...the stylus, yeah care needs to be taken. Some like the wet brush, some like dry brushing with SAND PAPER!!!! I have a Zerodust blob of goop, a bit dangerous because of the downward force exherted. So far so good though, but yeah, if something goes wrong here, one neeeds a new stylus.

    Quote:

    8) Having to replace the stylus every so often.



    This is my single biggest beef. A well setup stylus should last at least 1000 hours. The problem is the investment. IF one really likes those 2k carts, and had to scrimp and save, is it worth 2k annually if one listens often enough? Tough call, I don't have that kind of cash, and perhaps I never will. However, there are certainly many fine carts that are under 300, so if one calculates it out...it isn't that expensive but still, I agree, a pain.

    Quote:

    9) Remembering not to fall asleep and let the run out groove wear the stylus to a nub.



    Yep this is not cool at all.

    Quote:

    10) Having to learn juggling to get the record out of its sleeve onto the deck without scratching it, fingering it or dropping it.



    I don't have that problem, maybe I have a high dexterity? Regardless, your points are all valid, some easily solved others never will be.

    It ends up coming down to a decision, are the merits of hte sound benefits (a more natural and perhaps more resolving and dynamic experience) worth the efforts. For me yes, and I so love the convenience of 60 gigs on hand at all times, power up the iPod and just go for 10 straight hours of studying or programming or whatever. But at home, that 20 minute or less, cycle is really nice and involving and again, I love the sound.
     
  10. bln
    I don't see how the runout groove wears down the stylus any more than regular playing. Diamond is pretty tough. If you fall asleep, it's not the end of the world.
     
  11. Cerebral_Mamba
    I must say that i have never heard a vinyl setup [​IMG] and so I am not supposed to comment on it, but I kinda know that its an old standard that well outbeats the present day CDs

    What I wanted to actually ask is, if and when the DVD audio comes out at 24bit processing, will the Vinyl still hold ground?
     
  12. Zanth Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cerebral_Mamba
    I must say that i have never heard a vinyl setup [​IMG] and so I am not supposed to comment on it, but I kinda know that its an old standard that well outbeats the present day CDs

    What I wanted to actually ask is, if and when the DVD audio comes out at 24bit processing, will the Vinyl still hold ground?





    Probably.
     
  13. cpw Contributor
    Here's my $.02 though my experience w/ high end vinyl is limited:
    Get at least an MMF-5 and if you go up from there get a VPI Scout. You can certainly go up from there but you quickly reach a point of diminishing returns (I recognize that others may not agree here).
    I think the phono stage is worth some investment. I have the Ray Samuels XR-2 and you could spend alot more money for less quality and sound. OTOH, a friend has a Radio Shack battery powered stage that actually sounded damn good and it's practically free. YMMV.
    I've only tried about 5 carts. My least favorite was the Grado Platinum Reference. It was noisy w/ out lots of fiddling and though it sounded great on some material, it was not what I consider a good all around cart.
    Dynavector (10X5) was very good but I finally settled on the lowly Blue Point Special EvoIII from Sumiko. It is cheap (so I won't shrink from replacing it when its time comes), deadly quiet and sounds great on every type of music I can throw at it.
    I'm having great fun w/ vinyl even though it doesn't always sound better than CD. It's a way of life.
    Todd is a great guide. He'll give you honest and competent advice. Whaddaya got to lose?
    CPW
     
  14. Axel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by periurban
    Not.

    Vinyl is an anachronism designed by Satan to taunt audiophiles all over the planet.

    He promises fidelity of sound (but only if you can't tell when the sound is being coloured by harmonic distortion).

    That newfangled digital technology seems promising......

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]

    Well... I have to tell you that I am a vinyl enthusiast too, but , I don't think vinyl sounds better than CD - it just sounds different .
    Maybe it's because that its dynamic range is considerably smaller than CD that voices are produced so magically and instruments sound lifelike, and maybe it's because of its higher background distortion and noise that makes detail more audible ( this is no joke ).

    I agree that there are many downsides to vinyl, but every time I get enchanted by a record's sound all those downsides are forgotten [​IMG] .
     
  15. JMcMasterJ
    I know I'm digging up an old thread, but I'm soo tempted to get into vinyl. I love playing my parent's old records when I go over to their house. I just don't know if my wallet will be able to handle it. I would like to get something like a VPI Scout, but then there are so many other costs... cartridge, phono pre-amp, cleaning stuff, dust cover, etc. To vinyl or not to vinyl? hmmm....
     
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