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Sometimes, the old ways are the best

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Sometimes, the old ways are the best

Old 01-18-11, 10:33 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
Can I do this myself or should I take it to a guy? What's the method?
You need to know what you are doing to do this. He's may also be monitoring the bias voltages/current while doing this to ensure that none of the output devices are bad as well. If it were mine, I would probably replace all the electrolytic caps, but I mostly do all my own work so it isn't that expensive. Adcoms are nice gear, but they have a history of cap problems. Some threads on diyaudio about cleaning them up from these problems.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
1977 Pioneer SX-780, aglow underneath a 1980 Mondia Super. Note the milled knobs and big, beefy toggle switches that softly "thunk" when you throw them. You just don't see that anymore - micro-switches killed them off:
That's gorgeous. I'm barely old enough to have lived through both eras, but I much prefer physical switches, real knobs (not the modern rotary encoder junk), and definitely the design aspects of equipment from that era.

And bravo for passing the gift of music on to your daughter. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my parents playing records.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:37 PM
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I need to find a turntable one of these years. Not sure what happened to the one I had back in college. The Bose 501's I bought from the Navy Exchange in 1984 are still good as new. The tuner/amp is pretty nondescript, but still working fine after 27 years.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:37 PM
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I finally gave up on vinyl after years of being an audio retro grouch. While the sound is unquestionably better, the convenience factor of being able to store 30,000 songs on my Ipod and easily access any one of them, without worrying about scratches, finally killed my vinyl collection. I ended up selling some of the rarer pieces and giving the rest to various worthy people and groups.

BTW Southpaw...nice selections there (except the New Order). The Costello and Specials albums are probably two of the records I listen to most often.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:38 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
Someone please explain why the sound reproduced by these archaic machines is preferable to the sound reproduced by modern technology. All I recall from older sound equipment were many imperfections, distortions, and noise.
Because digital = shallow, incomplete sound reproduction compared to analog/vinyl. I know next to nothing about any of the equipment, and with very few exceptions I coudn't tell you which brands and models of audio equipment, analog or digital, are good or bad. But I have had the privilege of sitting in some incredible sound rooms to hear the vinyl and CD versions of the same recordings (classical, jazz, rock) played though absolutely top-end turntables and CD players that were in turn connected to exactly the same amps, pre-amps, cables, speakers and whatever else. (A now-dead friend of mine owned and otherwise had access to unbelieveably expensive and high zoot equipment that would have made you guys wet your pants in envy.) I've also been able to do the same "A-B" thing with CDs played thorugh state-of-the-art digital equipment and records played through state-of-the-art analog equipment. Without exception, the records sounded better.

Pops? Hisses? Yep, the records had them. But by comparison to vinyl, the CDs sounded . . . flat. Not flat as in a quarter tone too low, but as in having no depth. With the best CD equipment, if you close your eyes, you hear a very good recording of, say, Peter Paul & Mary. With the best turntables, if you close your eyes, they are in the room - Peter is over there, Paul over there, and Mary between them. You hear their lips part when they are about to start singing. It is that real, and I am not exaggerating. A cello sounds like a cello, with all the warmth and depth of sound you hear when you hear the cellist live. I have yet to hear a CD that captures those subtleties and nuances.

The differences are less with loud electric music, but they never go completely away.

Here's another test. Listen to the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey." Then listen to "Truckin'." "Touch of Grey," which was recorded using digital equpiment, will sound sand-blasted compared to the analog-recorded "Truckin'." Or try Santana. "She's Not There" or "Black Magic Woman" or any other of his earlier stuff will have a depth of sound that "Smooth" just doesn't have. And I'm not talking about the relative merits of the songs themselves, I'm talking about the overall sound.

That's not to say CDs are bad. Records require more care. CDs (and now MP3s and the like) allow you to bring good quality recordings virtually anywhere, and the MP3s allow you to bring the equivalent of a room full of record or CDs and put 'em in your pocket. And you do it for amazingly cheap. These are major advantages, and they mean that records will never again be other than a speciality item.

But for pure quality of sound, a well cared for vinyl record on a good turntable with a good cartridge and good everything else is the most authentic, accurate sound reproduction you can get.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:47 PM
  #56  
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All the amplified sound in our apartment (including the over the air HD TV) comes via a 1978 Marantz 2252B amplifier in a handsome wood cabinet. It sounds and looks lovely. My husband got it at a vintage stereo store, and was practically unused when we got our hands on it about 8 years ago.

When I have kids, I am going to have to find one of those Fisher-Price record players like I grew up with. Way more fun than an ipod.
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Old 01-18-11, 11:22 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
Someone please explain why the sound reproduced by these archaic machines is preferable to the sound reproduced by modern technology. All I recall from older sound equipment were many imperfections, distortions, and noise.
Open invitation to come out to here my outdated and archaic equipment. I am sure I could find something* for you to listen too.

I always tell the story in college when I first got my turntable I would do a comparison for some friends between vinyl and CD. I had the same album on CD and vinyl from the same reissues (Hendrix reissues from the early/mid 90's) and would play both the same song on the CD and vinyl. I got the sound levels matched as well as I could, and turned off the display on my receiver so you couldn't tell which one was playing. Every single person that I played the little demo for picked the vinyl record as sounding better.



*that isn't all of the vinyl I own either.
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Old 01-18-11, 11:39 PM
  #58  
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Turntables? Pfft, amateurs .



But in all seriousness, you guys' setups are pretty dang cool and that old reel-to-reel is the only interesting piece I really have, other than a Pioneer SX-980 with a dead channel and an old Sanyo turntable with fine speed control dials.
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Old 01-19-11, 01:39 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I finally gave up on vinyl after years of being an audio retro grouch. While the sound is unquestionably better, the convenience factor of being able to store 30,000 songs on my Ipod and easily access any one of them, without worrying about scratches, finally killed my vinyl collection. I ended up selling some of the rarer pieces and giving the rest to various worthy people and groups.
There's really no good argument against this. Also, the home theater thing is pretty nice, and you can't do that with 2 channel. While you can buy separates and build a nice A/V system, it is definitely a pay to play world and not for the faint of heart. If you want a decent quality stereo and movie experience you have to make some compromises, or pay the price.

I really don't see myself re-growing my vinyl collection, but it is nice once again to hear the few I have left. It's a special treat, for once in a while - and it's fun to see the appreciation in the youngster.
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Old 01-19-11, 02:05 AM
  #60  
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Yep, I've got the C+V audio problem too. I've never had any high-end gear but the current setup is smooth, balanced, and inexpensive:

Technics SA-210 integrated amp (thrifted for $5. Solid state 20W Class A amp all on one chip.)
Sony PS-LX5 direct drive turntable ($35 at the pawnshop, plus a nice static-discharge mat. )
No name speakers with 4" woofers and toddler-proof steel screens.
No name bandpass subwoofer box with 6" drivers.
About $100 on sale worth of crossover parts from Madisound to make it all work together. >:-D

I try to avoid the "LPs / CDs sound better" flamewar, but everyone I play music for admits the LPs sound good enough. I really enjoy the 'neediness' of a turntable as compared to an MP3 player... it encourages me to pay attention to and enjoy the music more.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:45 AM
  #61  
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I'm running an Acurus Dia100i integrated amp, have been continuously for 5 years, I don't turn it off.
input is some generic CD player, or a Visonik Turntable, phono preamp is the RadioShack little rat.
My speakers are Sonus Faber Concerto's in piano black.
I've got a bottlehead foreplay not being used, and an AR ES turntable I need to tear down and rebuild.
packed away I have a pair of Allison IVs, another great Mass. company, but the surrounds are rotted
and there's a tear in one upward firing woofer which I don't know if I can get replaced.
I also have a Yamaha 610 receiver hanging around from my original setup.

Marty
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Old 01-19-11, 09:53 AM
  #62  
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I packed up my Scott tube amp in about 1994 and haven't unpacked it. Nor the turntable. Nor the vinyl. My wife considers the amp a fire hazard. It would heat a small apartment pretty well!

Vinyl sure does sound better, but I found what I really listen to is the songs, not the sound.
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Old 01-19-11, 10:03 AM
  #63  
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Upstairs, I run an old sherwood amp, a Luxman turntable, and two polk audio speakers.

Down, Onkyo reciever, technics turntable, JBL speakers (in all, about 30$ of yard sale finds)

I have I don't know how much vintage vinyl, and a lot of CDs. I spend about 25$ a month on music, this nets somewhere between 10-50 cds and Lps. Last couple weeks have been good, yielding the first Bettie Davis lp, the Good to Go soundtrack, the last Trapeze album Glenn Hughes did before leaving for deep purple, some early rap lps (some of which I had and gave to a friend who deals in them), pretty much the complete Janis Joplin, including the CD box, a number of old funk lps Mutiny! P-Funk!). The most I've spent on an lp in the last few years was 3$, for a sealed copy of the first James Talley record.

I like lps not because of any inherent great sound, but because the 20 minutes a side fits my drawing pace.

I'm partially deaf-- no hearing in one ear, partial in the other-- so I suspect my musical enjoyment is not "full." However, I've been this way since birth, and sometimes ignorance really is bliss. I actually cannot hear stereo at all. I tend to just punch the mono button (or flick the switch) and for years just had one speaker.
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Old 01-19-11, 10:16 AM
  #64  
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Since moving into our new home in June, I have brought all my albums and turntable home from my music studio and set it up in my man cave. I've taught my 3 year old daughter to clean LPs and how thew turntable works. She thinks listening to LPs is "special" and often makes specific requests to listen to an "ow-bum". Warms my heart!

I have quite bit of music that has never been released on CD. Mostly indi rock from the 80s and 90s, 70's Prog, some jazz, and a dozen or so Hendrix bootlegs. I also like having the LP art work for my faves, so I have kept all the Zeppelin vinyl even though the remastered CD box set sounds SO much better. You just can't argue with an additional octave of low end :-)
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Old 01-19-11, 10:18 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I packed up my Scott tube amp in about 1994 and haven't unpacked it. Nor the turntable. Nor the vinyl. My wife considers the amp a fire hazard. It would heat a small apartment pretty well!

Vinyl sure does sound better, but I found what I really listen to is the songs, not the sound.
+1

There isn't even the slightest doubt in my mind that vinyl sounds better, substantially better (at least until the record scratches, and I'm hard on stuff so this will happen). At the same time, most of what I love most is early new wave/punk...early glam...blues...rockabilly and roots rock. Most of what I love most is often poorly recorded, doesn't rely on sound and really manages to come through ok digitally. My Ramomnes and Kinks albums do manage to sound ok on Ipod. I think hi-fi is more important for music I don't like, like jazz, which I can rarely tolerate for periods of more than 15 minutes. I can definitely see how prog rock requires hifi equipment, but my house is a Yes free zone. Dylan's Blonde on Blonde might actually sound better on lesser equipment! I will say that I do love Steely Dan and Talking Heads, and they just aren't the same digitally.

Oddly the thing I miss most about vinyl isn't the sound...it's the cover art and liner notes. I loved well done cover art.
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Old 01-19-11, 10:24 AM
  #66  
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Ayuh. Heard as it was meant to be heard (on a car radio) the Knickerbockers' "Lies" sounds exactly like the Beatles. On really good stereo equipment, the resemblance fades. What's the fun in that?
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Old 01-19-11, 11:05 AM
  #67  
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I too have a lot of obscure releases that will NEVER see digital unless I convert it myself.
I mean seriously who really listens to Stu Nunnery other than me?
IF any of you want to unburden yourselves of that old tube equipment just send it my
way.
BTW listen to YES 1st album, no not "The Yes Album" 2 before that, the one with Harold Land on it,
way better than their prog-rock stuff.

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Old 01-19-11, 11:27 AM
  #68  
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I don't know anything about vintage stereo equipment. Maybe you guys can shed some light on this guy's collection. I went to a garage sale because of the vintage Schwinns I saw. Then, he invited me inside to see his period correct and very vintage house. To me, he was living the dream. This house was uber cool. I wish I had taken more phone pics.













And this is only some of what was in the house. I may be 25, but I love 70's style. I was born in the wrong generation.
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Old 01-19-11, 11:57 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
I too have a lot of obscure releases that will NEVER see digital unless I convert it myself.
I mean seriously who really listens to Stu Nunnery other than me?
IF any of you want to unburden yourselves of that old tube equipment just send it my
way.
BTW listen to YES 1st album, no not "The Yes Album" 2 before that, the one with Harold Land on it,
way better than their prog-rock stuff.

Marty
I bought a UBS equipped record player and it was unquestionably a great investment...though conversion is VERY time consuming.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:01 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Because digital = shallow, incomplete sound reproduction compared to analog/vinyl...
At the very real risk of adding fuel to this (perhaps already inappropriate) fire, let me simply state:

Research "Shannon Sampling Theorem" (also sometimes called "Nyquist Sampling Theorem"). This mathematically proves that 44.1kHz sampling is sufficient to exactly reproduce the original analog signal up to 22kHz, provided the resolution is sufficient. I suspect that part of the reason the people find digital unappealing is the limitations of the original 16-bit resolution. 24/96 is more than adequate to overcome this.

But the main reason that digital has gotten a bad reputation was due to the poor mastering jobs done on most of the early CDs released for mass consumption. And that is absolutely not the fault of the medium.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:24 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I bought a UBS equipped record player and it was unquestionably a great investment...though conversion is VERY time consuming.
Is that better than a USB one?

Originally Posted by ctmullins View Post
Research "Shannon Sampling Theorem" (also sometimes called "Nyquist Sampling Theorem")..........

But the main reason that digital has gotten a bad reputation was due to the poor mastering jobs done on most of the early CDs released for mass consumption. And that is absolutely not the fault of the medium.
Ahhh....... Nyquist. The last time I saw reference to that, it was in a text book and then on an exam shortly thereafter.

Yeah - early mastering left a lot to be desired, and that gave a ton of fuel to the retro-grouch fire. I recently had the opportunity to listen to a properly mastered current CD on a ~$80,000 stereo system, set up in a room specifically built for the purpose of listening to it. It really left nothing to be desired (by me, anyway). If modern media and equipment doesn't exactly reproduce the material, it approximates it closely enough to be reduce one to picking nits.

Like Aaron inferred a few posts back, there is a lot of music out there that just doesn't benefit from being passed through top-tier stuff. Real hardcore audiophiles spend a lot of time listening to zithers and whatnot, after-all.

To bring this full circle, and to relate it to vintage bikes - turntables and vinyl are cool, fun, and sound exceptional when properly cared for, fussed over, and played on the proper equipment. But, like a bike with DT shifters, they're not a daily driver for me. Similar to what another poster mentioned, I like the "neediness" of the LP experience - but only as a "once-in-a-while" activity. Furthermore, like a vintage bicycle, it connects me to what I grew up with - what I fondly remember from my youth, a familiar and friendly touch-stone to the past.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:25 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by ctmullins View Post
But the main reason that digital has gotten a bad reputation was due to the poor mastering jobs done on most of the early CDs released for mass consumption. And that is absolutely not the fault of the medium.
Agree 100%. I was an earlier adopter of CDs back in the early 80s, and they were pretty horrible. Not only CD mastering, but CD players, as well. Up until around the late 90s I was convinced that digital was "harsh" and not as faithful as analog. Then one day I heard a CD played back on a friend's Nakamichi CD player with 24-bit DAC. I heard subtle details i had never heard before on my own CD deck or analog. There was also a "warmth" that I didn't think existed in digital.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:26 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
On the vintage hifi stuff front, one of my recent thrift store finds was a set of Bose 901s, series II, with the graphic equalizer. Around 1975+/- vintage.
...
My advice, have the EQ serviced by a pro. If it doesn't work, those 901's are doorstops. Been there, had to buy a new EQ.

After ~10 years sitting dark, my turntable is up and spinning. I just finished listening to the B side of the album E.C. Was Here.

It was............. NICE.
I don't own a home CD player, turntable(s) only. Phillips 312B and a Rotel I need to get a new cartridge and stylus for. I think certain human dinosaurs have a Pavlovian reflex when they hear the needle drop and lead-in. I know I do. Ocean Blvd for me when it comes to E.C.

I haven't done the A/V thing yet, but I have a set of Sony SAVA-7's that work like that, sort of, in the garage.

I'm still a R & L guy. Klipsch Forte II's after journeys through 601's, 901's, dbx Soundfield One's, and Altec Lansings. The one's that got away: Polk Audio RT-12's. The buyer made an offer I couldn't refuse, and drove down from Boston to get them, in his RX7. We had to pull a seat out and ship it back by bus.

The USB conversion can only be done slowly. I have a Creative converter that uses the RCA jacks, and it takes just as long. I've been converting dozens of dbx-encoded tapes to digital, alternating a pair of Pioneer CT-S99WR's, which I hope last long enough to complete the collections. I have not converted any LP's, but the unit will do it.

I've often wondered how good a job those wooden units do that have a turntable built in and a CD burner.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:28 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by realestvin7 View Post
I don't know anything about vintage stereo equipment.




And this is only some of what was in the house. I may be 25, but I love 70's style. I was born in the wrong generation.
See if he'll sell you the Sansui and the Pioneer. Those were great years. You won't find too many quad records for the Sansui, but it is great for two rooms.
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Old 01-19-11, 12:35 PM
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One of the things that make LPs endearing to me is the warmth of the reproduced sound.
There's something 'missing' on CD for me, even modern ones (although I did think SACD was pretty good),
maybe it's the subtle background hiss, I don't know.
That said, I like the CD player in my car, and the ability to plug a thumb drive worth of music into it.
There's a lot to be said for either medium, I happen to like both but prefer vinyl.
Then there's the whole LP ritual which I liken to gluing tubulars
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