Friday, April 15, 2016

I read a post about the joys of "vinyl" and its superiority over digital music formats on a mostly photography blog site and felt the need to express a different opinion.

After decades of experience with LPs, turntables, phono stages, tapes and tape drives (starting in the mid-60s, I had vivid memories of the practical problems with tape and LPs. I was happy enough to see a new medium with far fewer problems and much better real world sound.

Tape noise, LP surface noise, warps, wow and flutter, hum picked up by the turntable to phono stage cable, scratches and defective pressings are still vivid memories. I have no need to experience them again.

All my music collection has been on a computer hard drive (with backups) for about 10 years, indexed so that I can find and play what I like without effort. As always, sound quality is a question of the care with which the recording and the subsequent steps were made and the skills of the people involved.

Most of the recordings that I own has never been available on vinyl. I buy used Cds on Amazon and have few problems getting perfect transfers. I buy Flac downloads and find that ever easier. I listen on YouTube to music that is not available via commercial recordings. I can download concert recordings from that last few decades.

I miss nothing about LPs and the associated gear. This talk about how wonderful "vinyl" sounds like old guys talking about how wonderful film and darkrooms were.