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Re: Albums, the lost technology

6/29/2000 7:47 PM
Re: Albums, the lost technology
Well Mitch, there IS nothing like the sound of vinyl...and the clicks and ticks and rumble. Not to mention the roll-off in the bass to keep the needle from jumping out of the groove. I actually like vinyl, EXCEPT for those problems. That's why I'm denoising them as much as possible, and putting them on CD's. Pretty soon there will be about 350 more LP's out there somewhere. I EQ'ed them going to digital to get a little more range out of them. (Basically, I lowered some of the mids a bit, and played around with graphics and parametrics to get more thump and a bit more high end.) I like the cleaned up ones better. I've got some pretty awful sounding 60's compilation CD's..(from the "master tapes"), and this method actually sounds better than those. I heard Jeff Beck's "Goin' Down" in a whole new way. Kinda cool, actually.  
7/2/2000 7:27 PM

That's funny.. my LP's all have MORE bass than thir CD versions.. maybe your RIAA pre-amp is funky? The rolloff is pretty well taken care of there if the thing is built right. Cartridge is also important (obviously).  
I've been putting my LP's on CD for a while now, using Cool-Edit as well. Very worthwhile IMHO.
7/2/2000 7:52 PM

Hi Speed,  
My albums are kept in excellent shape. I record them  
to hi bias cassette using the dolby S and they sound very good on cassette. I do use a high dollar pioneer turtable and a Stanton diamond needle. My albums have alot of bass and the highs are very articulate also. Aparently Brad might have a needle and cartridge that might not be a high grade unit to use. I have found that the audio technica seem decent as well as the shure but if you want a full sound you need to use the same kind of cartridges as the FM Radio stations used to use. I dont worry about pops and clicks because if you keep an album in good shape and handle them at the edges like a cd they will stay in good shape. Albums seem to carry a bit of a different fequency than CDs and that why I like them. I guess its just a matter of taste:)  
I guess I feel happy to be able to find lots of good albums very cheap.  
7/7/2000 6:43 AM

"That's funny.. my LP's all have MORE bass than thir CD versions.. maybe your RIAA pre-amp is funky? The rolloff is pretty well taken care of there if the thing is built right. Cartridge is also important (obviously). "
I also noticed the same thing with the bass response in vinyl... I've also noticed more USABLE high end.  
Long story short, I finally got a crtrige for my used turntable, so all my orphaned vinyl is now being played again. I tossed it up in my head over and over again, whether to go for a couple hundred $$ cartrige, or a $30 BestBuy AT cartrige.... and seeing that most of the vinyl I have was aquired in the time that I didnt have a turntable, I opted for the lower end cartrige, just to at least assess the quality of the vinlyl, w/o feeling bad if it tore thru a good cartrige etc. ( some is perfect, and some, well, i wouldnt use a sewing needle on, it's so bad... )  
Installed it, and grabbed for some vinyl, and ended up putting on the "B" side of Styx's Grand Illusion LP... and when I heard the guitar tones in the beginning of "Miss America", I almost blew a wad.... Then to keep the fiancee at peace, I thru on a Journey LP... something I also have onCD... her response was "Wow, it sounds like you are actually there.. it's not as scratcnhy sounding" SO to the untrained, even THEY can notice the clearer high end.... now to hit all the garage sales, yard sales and flea markets and buy all the old vinyl I can now!
7/7/2000 4:31 PM

You can get surprisingly good results from cheap magnetic cartridges. I have several magnetic cartridges at various price points (Sumiko Blue Point, MIT moving magnet, several Shures from the seventies), my favorite is an old Radio ShackShure V15 that they discontinued years ago, I paid $30 for it. The $600 MIT sounds very good, but the RSShure beats it in midrange quality and output level. I use it with a VPI mark 3 turntable with a Linn Basik arm, the rest of the stereo is scratch built. Vinyl rules!
7/7/2000 5:51 PM
JM Re: Turntables info (long)
I'm not sure about the model you have but a truly quality turntable is key to getting good sound out of your old records and it will keep them in better shape as well. I've spent $500.00 on a used Linn Sondek which to me is a lot of cash but it is one of the best musical investments I have made. The strobe is more gimmick than quality while it doesn't mean that your table is junk, you won't find them on a real table. However if your table has automatic controls (start stop ect) the quality is suspect. As for cartridges it's whatever you are willing to spend and at what point you are wasting your money. I don't think any Technics table is worth spending more than $50.00 on a cartridge for so a cheap Grado or Sumiko might be a good choice. If you want good sound, a lot less noise, and your records to remain in good shape I would strongly recommend cleaning them. A couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to a gallon of distilled water along with a quart of alcohol is a good cheap mix although a better surfactant like Triton X114 leaves no residue at all if you can get it. A record cleaning machine like the VPI 16.5 is pricey but also another must have if you are serious. I myself would rather clean the crap out of my records to make then quieter rather than destroy them grinding the dirt in and trying to "remove" the noise electronicly. One last thing I'll say is that all of the above when used with a nice tube amp sound better than fancy expensive cable.
7/7/2000 10:36 PM

Everyone's replies have been pretty much on the money. It ISN'T an expensive turntable, and I believe I paid about $80 for the AT cartridge back in the 80's. I do, and have always kept my records clean, and brush them off everytime I play them with a DiscWasher. They haven't been cleaned in years. They haven't been PLAYED in about 10 years.  
They have been stored in covered cardboard apple boxes in a cool closet. I even have plastic jackets for all of the covers, to keep the ink from rubbing a circular pattern on them. The records are inserted into the inner sleeve, then inserted into the jacket with the sleeve opening up. Unfortunately, back then I did a lot of practicing with LP tracks. As you can imagine, there are some added pops and ticks, and some tracks are more well-worn than others.  
It's always seemed funny to me that they could boost the treble, and cut the bass so drastically to conform to the RIAA EQ...and then reverse the procedure so drastically without introducing some kind of weird artifacts. I know...CD's have their quirks, too...not the least is the perception of harshness. But at least, for the most part...they are quiet. Even with tapes limitations, I believe there is nothing that sounds as good as a master tape. After all...that's what everything else came from anyway. That is as near to perfect as they have come, so far. I have hope that the next generation digital (24/96 or even higher) will solve most of the inherent problems with digital recording.  
Their will always be some noise in ANY recording, and background noise hater that I am, my current preferences would be, in order, master tape, CD, LP, and whatever is left. I can see digital eventually surpassing everything. Too bad it's gonna cost an arm and a leg for that higher least for awhile.  
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