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Author Topic: Vinyl Records  (Read 3680 times)

chaospersonified

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Vinyl Records
« on: 04 Mar 2015, 15:47 »

I was wondering what this board's general stance was on them. I considered framing this as a poll, but I'm more interested in hearing peoples' thoughts on the medium than in the actual numbers.

So vinyl's been having a revival recently; sales of LPs last year went up 52% in a world where other forms of music sales DROPPED. I bought myself a record player around Thanksgiving and have been building up a collection since then, so I guess I'm technically a part of that increase.

So I personally buy vinyl for a couple reasons.

The biggest one is that with vinyl versus digital download, there's physical matter involved, and I'm more likely to listen to something new. I can download a song, put it into a playlist, set my itunes to shuffle and literally not even hear that song while I'm sitting there. I buy a record, there's the whole ritualistic process of getting it out, putting it on the player, pressing play, flipping it when the side ends, maybe changing to the second disc. It's more work, but it's not exactly difficult, and it adds to the enjoyment.

I'm more likely to listen to it, since I've had shopping sprees in the past with downloads, getting three, four albums at once, and a week later, I'll have listened to probably eight songs a hundred times, and the rest of what I got just the once. With vinyl, it's possible to skip songs on records, but it's not worth it, really, so I hear the entire thing every time. Deep tracks, man, sometimes the best songs on an album aren't the hits, or the ones that caught your attention the first time around. You hear them again though because they come before your favorite, and something in them just hits you and suddenly you have a new favorite.

Suffice to say, I am very much pro-vinyl records. I'll be at the record store on April 18th for Record Store Day, picking up the new Built To Spill and anything else that catches my eye that morning.

What about the rest of you? Vinyl good, vinyl bad? I'm curious!
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #1 on: 04 Mar 2015, 16:41 »

I grew up on vinyl, so I still have (and probably always will have) a soft spot for it. I never minded CD's or MP3's (I love being able to fit a decent chunk of my collection in my pocket and listen to it wherever), but there was so much with LPs that you just don't get with other formats. The artwork, the fact that it's divided into sides (and how that influences the construction of an album as a cohesive piece of work), the warmth of the sound...

I still have a lot of my old LPs. One of these days, I'll probably invest in a turntable and start buying vinyl again, especially the older stuff that still hasn't been reissued in digital.

The only drawback I can think of is albums that I only wore out one side of 'cause that one side was so good I'd just keep going back to it. It wasn't 'til I got some things on CD that I started hearing the rest of certain albums and realizing that the rest of the music was actually quite good (or that side one had grown on me so much that side two never stood much of a chance).
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #2 on: 04 Mar 2015, 19:09 »

Audicity is free, and can be used to put it into a digital format for casual listening, so one can save using the actual vinyl for special occasions, which ought to cut down on the wear and tear, so all you need to do is hook up the turntable to a computer.  I've also purchased a few newer ones where they included a code for a digital download, which saves the hassle of ripping them.
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SubaruStephen

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #3 on: 05 Mar 2015, 18:29 »

Thanks to the latest LP I bought (The Doors), I've realized that my turntable is too fast.

I need to wire in a speed controler to the motor.
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Aziraphale

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #4 on: 05 Mar 2015, 19:09 »

Is it direct-drive or belt-drive? The direct-drive turntables usually have a pitch control that can be used to tweak the RPM's.
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #5 on: 06 Mar 2015, 01:53 »

I'm a big fan of vinyl. My trusty Dual CS505-4 still works flawlessly.

To me the big difference is that a CD is just a digital storage medium. If I buy a digital copy of the music, I don't need it to come on a storage medium. With a LP on the other hand, I could hear the music with a simple needle and a piece of cardboard. It would damage the record and wouldn't sound good, but it would work. The music really is physical.
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SubaruStephen

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #6 on: 06 Mar 2015, 18:07 »

Is it direct-drive or belt-drive? The direct-drive turntables usually have a pitch control that can be used to tweak the RPM's.

It's a belt drive.

Aiwa PX-E860.
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #7 on: 06 Mar 2015, 19:05 »

Did some Googling. See if there's a 50/60hz switch on it. If it has one, try changing it and see if that helps. If not, I also found this:

Quote
I believe this is a belt driven turntable. With the power off, carefully remove the rubber mat. Turn the platter by had until you see the motor pulley through the open holes. If you carefully look at the belt, and it has slipped upwards to the top of the pulley, and not within the guides, that will cause it to spin very fast. Move the belt down between the guides on the pulley. Rotate the platter by hand, to be sure that the belt stays withing the guides.
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #8 on: 06 Mar 2015, 21:29 »

The only switches on it are "33-45" for the speed and "30-17" for the disc size, "Start", "Cut", and one to raise/lower the arm.

I moved the belt, but "Hello, I Love You" still sounds like it's being sung by Herman's Hermits, not Jim Morrison.

On the underside of the turntable there are 3 holes labeled "RET", "L.IN", and "SW" and I can see adjustable potentiometers.
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #9 on: 06 Mar 2015, 21:59 »

SW looks like it might be a speed adjustment screw. RET is for the tone arm return and L.IN is for the lead-in groove (so I'm guessing it calibrates where the needle hits the record).
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #10 on: 07 Mar 2015, 09:38 »

Recently got my first turntable - I fucking love vinyl records. I'm honestly happier having some stuff only on vinyl because then it becomes a real event for me to listen to it - that or getting separate MP3s of it.

Saying that I grew up on the CD era, so I have shitloads of CDs. I generally only go digital if that's the only way I can get my hands on it - and my music collection is all legit.
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chaospersonified

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #11 on: 07 Mar 2015, 16:05 »

my music collection is all legit.

I can't say this unless secondhand piracy counts. I got a lot of stuff from someone who torrented it. Now I'm buying the best of it on vinyl. So now it's been (secondhand) buyrated.

I like music a lot, I've not always had money for it, so I looked to my friends.

I like having physical copies of my music, but it's really about the process for me. Like I've got all this stuff to do if I want to listen to this album, well gosh darn it, IMMA FUCKING ENJOY IT
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #12 on: 07 Mar 2015, 16:14 »

I am definitely a fan of the vinyl. There are a lot of Classical records that haven't yet made the jump to CD but I have been able to find on vinyl. I'm happy to see they're making a comeback for new stuff! Also, there are a lot of thrift stores in my neighborhood that have some good stuff.

A question: My turntable was my Dad's that I saved out of a closet a few years ago. The stylus / needle has accumulated a lot of dust from tracking in the records. What are your thoughts on lightly spraying the needle with some canned compressed air (lightly) to clean it up?
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Aziraphale

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #13 on: 07 Mar 2015, 18:13 »

Not sure if that'd damage the needle or the cartridge (the canned air usually has some force behind it). A rocket blower might work better.

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #14 on: 07 Mar 2015, 18:46 »

I like vinyl 'cause I'm half fucking blind, so the larger album art and liner notes are nice. The occasional coloured vinyl and super-cheap used records are also nice.

I'm hoping to be able to get to RSD this year, but it might be a bit tricky.
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chaospersonified

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #15 on: 07 Mar 2015, 19:27 »

I'm hoping to be able to get to RSD this year, but it might be a bit tricky.

Man, I'm planning on leaving before 7 AM that morning and I don't even know how that's gonna happen
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #16 on: 07 Mar 2015, 23:58 »

I've still got a huge number of albums on vinyl, but unfortunately I need a new turntable, and that's not in the budget right now.
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SubaruStephen

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #17 on: 08 Mar 2015, 19:38 »

A question: My turntable was my Dad's that I saved out of a closet a few years ago. The stylus / needle has accumulated a lot of dust from tracking in the records. What are your thoughts on lightly spraying the needle with some canned compressed air (lightly) to clean it up?

I've heard that putting a 1/4 inch thin strip of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (the white part, not the blue) onto the (unplugged) turn table and using the lever/button that lowers the arm to drop the needle vertically onto the eraser is get it 90% like new in most cases (do not drop the arm using your hand, it might come down at the wrong angle and damage the needle tip)
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #18 on: 09 Mar 2015, 01:11 »

I love Discogs. Bought a single new album, and a huge bunch of used records. Now I'll get a shipment with ten EPs tomorrow.
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chaospersonified

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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #19 on: 11 Mar 2015, 09:42 »

The list of special releases for Record Store Day is out on their site. Anything catch your eye?

I'm definitely looking for The Dresden Dolls re-release of Yes, Virginia, and No, Virginia, the new Violent Femmes a close second.
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #20 on: 11 Mar 2015, 10:58 »

SubaroStephen, any luck getting rid of the chipmunks?
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #21 on: 23 Sep 2016, 19:54 »

SubaroStephen, any luck getting rid of the chipmunks?

AAh, yisss  8-)

After much YouTube research, googling, (and even more procrastinating), I managed to get my cheap little record player sounding great. (Better than a 17 year old, all plastic $50 turntable has any right to sound)

It had 3 main problems:

#1, the stylus was worn out, and also had a slight bend from being dropped on the moving rubber platter mat.  :-(
I replaced the stylus and switched the rubber mat with a cork mat.

#2, the arm doesn't have a counterweight, so the Vertical Tracking Force (how hard the needle presses on the record) wasn't adjustable. A high VTF wears out the record grooves.
I bought a cheap VTF scale off Amazon, found that it it was too heavy. 3.5 grams was the maximum allowed according to the specifications (and 2.5 minimum), mine had 4.2 grams. There was enough flat space on the back of the arm to place some coins as a counterweight, and once I had an acceptable VTF, I superglued the coins together and used double sided tape to attach the 7 stack to the arm.

#3, the damn thing was spinning too fast, Rush's 2112 sounded like Geddy Lee was on helium.
I found out that there is something called a "strobe disc" that is used to check and calibrate the speed (you can download and print one for free from http://keystrobe.com/Discs.html). I took the bottom off the record player to see if there was any way to adjust the speed. I found 2 tiny holes on the bottom of the motor that control the high (45 rpm) and low (33 1/3) speeds. And I mean tiny, good thing I have some old watch repair screwdrivers on hand, I got both speeds adjusted correctly.

Now Jim Morrison sounds like Jim, Geddy Lee sounds like Geddy, and Black Sabbath's Paranoid (on new 180 gram vinyl) is making the walls crumble. :-D

I can only imagine how good the sound will be once I save up enough scratch for a quality player.

Edit: holy crap, I just listened to Behemoth by Gost. By the end of side A my hands were literally shaking.
« Last Edit: 24 Sep 2016, 13:57 by SubaruStephen »
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Re: Vinyl Records
« Reply #22 on: 12 Oct 2016, 00:15 »

I can only imagine how good the sound will be once I save up enough scratch for a quality player.

Well, crap.

It looks like I'll finding out sooner than later, the motor has taken the short march to death.

2 days ago it started slowing down, speeding up, slowing down...and now it smells like burning whenever I turn it on :x. I took it apart and the plastic around the motor has melted, as well as one of the arm return gears, making it impossible to just replace the motor.

Went to the audio store and ended up special ordering a $400 Pro Ject Debut Carbon, and also had to order a pre-amp online because the Debut doesn't have a built in one.
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