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Author: Subject: The Warm Sound Of Vinyl Making A Comeback

Zen Peach





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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 02:11 PM
The vibration of the music is cut into vinyl, and then the non-antiseptic, non- digital vibration of the vinyl is passed on by the needle and comes out our speakers and fills the room. Vibration, vibration, vibration.


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http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2127345,00.html

Back in the groove: young music fans ditch downloads and spark vinyl revival


Sales of 7in singles rise by 13% in first half of year
New bands and collectors turning to old format

Katie Allen, media business correspondent
Monday July 16, 2007
The Guardian


The format was supposed to have been badly wounded by the introduction of CDs and killed off completely by the ipod-generation that bought music online.
But in a rare case of cheerful news for the record labels, the latest phenomenon in a notoriously fickle industry is one nobody dared predict: a vinyl revival. Latest figures show a big jump in vinyl sales in the first half of this year, confirming the anecdotal evidence from specialist shops throughout the UK.

It comes as sales of CD singles continue to slide - and it is not being driven by technophobic middle-aged consumers. Teenagers and students are developing a taste for records and are turning away from the clinical method of downloading music on to an MP3 player.
The data, released by the UK's industry group BPI, shows that 7in vinyl sales were up 13% in the first half, with the White Stripes' Icky Thump the best seller.

Two-thirds of all singles in the UK now come out on in the 7in format, with sales topping 1m. Though still a far cry from vinyl's heyday in 1979, when Art Garfunkel's Bright Eyes alone sold that number and the total vinyl singles market was 89m, the latest sales are still up more than fivefold in five years.

For record stores, the resurgence has meant a move from racks of vintage Rolling Stones and Beatles releases to brand new singles and younger buyers. "The student population seem to be loving the 7in," says Stuart Smith, who runs Seismic Records in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. He sells 300-600 records a week and is preparing to launch an online store.

"I'm still not sure about the MP3 generation. You can have a full hard drive and nothing to show for it. Record collections are very personal. You can view into a person's soul really," he says.

The customers rummaging through racks at his store, a small room above a skate shop, are students and DJs.

When Mr Smith opened the vinyl shop in early 2005, digital download sales were rocketing and, amid rampant piracy, global music revenues were several years into their current downward spiral.

A shop selling LPs and 7in singles didn't sound like the most promising business plan. But when his employers at the local outlet of music chain Fopp - now closed down - decided to stop selling vinyl it was something he couldn't resist.

"I just couldn't understand why they decided to turn their backs on it. I saw an opportunity to do something I love doing. I've been a collector myself for years," says the 31-year-old. "It's just one of things. It just felt right."

Two years on, the White Stripes' Icky Thump has just notched up the highest weekly sales for a 7in single for more than 20 years. Retailers and record labels put the rising vinyl sales down to bands rediscovering the format and to music fans' enduring desire to collect. It's not unusual for fans to buy a 7in but have nothing to play it on, says Paul Williams at industry magazine Music Week. "It's about the kind of acts that have very loyal fan bases that want everything to do with that act," he says. "They maybe will buy the download to listen to, but they get the vinyl to own. It's looked at like artwork."

HMV agrees that vinyl is back from the brink, and the chain has been rapidly expanding its record racks to meet rising demand. The group's Gennaro Castaldo cites the huge popularity of "indie" bands, such as Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys, which enjoy loyal followings among teenagers and students, especially during the summer festival season.

"Labels have realised that it's cool for bands to release their music on vinyl, especially in limited edition form, which makes it highly collectible," he says.

London company Art Vinyl has built a whole business out of the format's visual and tactile appeal by selling easy-to-open frames to display records and their sleeves.

For fans, buying and owning a record can provide a welcome change from the anonymity of online downloads, says Art Vinyl's founder Andrew Heeps. "If you go into a record shop to buy something, you feel part of something," he says. "The fact that last year we sold over 9,000 frames to people says an awful lot about where the market is going."

Cara Henn, a DJ and regular Seismic Records customer says going to the store puts her in touch with her peers and has hammered home the vinyl trend. "I've really been getting back into my vinyl. I love it," she says. "I like to hear crackling, as if it's actually real. Especially with drum'n'bass, DJs are really encouraging fans to buy vinyl."





 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 02:29 PM
Along with vinyl, tube amps are also making a big comeback. I bought a Jolida 502A last summer, and let me tell you, I ain't going back to solid state equipment. Tubes just make music sound the way it should sound. Truth be told, people are starting to realize that some of the old analog way of listening to music (tube amps, playing vinyl records) is helluva lot more musical and fun to listen to. This is "Back to the Future" at it's best.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 04:10 PM
I don't think tube instrument amps ever really went out of style. I wish I had an Ampeg SVT rig, but I don't think my back would appreciate it come load in and load out time.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 05:01 PM
I never gave up on vinyl

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 05:02 PM
I didn't either, but my stereo sure did give up!!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 05:06 PM
that there is funny Dave

and by the way you have something heading your way via USPS

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 05:09 PM
Sweet! I'll fix the package up for you that we talked about and send it to ya.

By the way, I still have a turntable, but I don't have a working receiver.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 05:13 PM
at my 30th high school reunion last month I hungout with a friend and musicians from back in the day who still had his Bose 901's 35 years later, and they still crank.

 

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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 09:32 PM
I have always been a vinyl junkie!
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 09:43 PM
Vinyl is my thing ! Buying 5 or so titles a week at a local flea mkt. ....really rounding out my collection.

 

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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 09:54 PM
So would this indicate a rise in value for old original vinyl releases Derek?
I have about a 100 or so I've been thinking of getting rid of.
The prices seem to be kind of low in Goldmine for some of them.

 

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Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 09:56 PM
Another benefit of vinyl: the nature of cleaning a record, caring for it so as to not scratch it, carefully positioning the needle before dropping it in the groove - all of he rituals necessary in doing vinyl "right" also makes one naturally sit, concentrate, and appreciate the music much more.

Unlike setting up your playlist on iTunes and letting it rip for hours on end as background noise while you do other things, vinyl is a commitment. Every 15-20 minutes you're going to get up and change that record, so you choose it more carefully and end up actually listening, as oposed to just having sound to fill in the silence.

And let's not forget the artwork. Nothing was better than to pour over those liner notes on an LP jacket and inserts. Some LP jackets were works of art in themselves. CD booklets are annoying by comparison.

All of this - besides the fact that they sound better - makes vinyl superior. Thank goodness people ar returning to a quality technology. Hope remains!

BTW - I have an original, 1972 release of "Eat A Peach" still in it's original plastic - never been opened! I'm planning on keeping it that way as long as I can. Maybe 20 years from now I can sell it on eBay and make enough for another week in the old folks home!

 

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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 10:00 PM

I can sell it on eBay and make enough for another week in the old folks home!
See above post.

 

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Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 7/16/2007 at 10:26 PM
quote:
See above post.


Actually, if you watch some of the prized titles on eBay - things like original MFSL or DCC releases - you'd be shocked at how much collectors are paying. Goldmine is one thing. But tapping into the audiophiles and collectors, AND having both quality and honesty in your ratings, and it is not uncommon to see some titles going for $200+, sometimes a lot more...

The key is condition, proving you have taken care of every component of the LP (cover, original vinyl inner sleve, any inserts, posters, or goodies - and of course the vinyl itself - always separately kept in its own, audiophile quality sleve), and then getting a good reputation for your product. Very few have been fanatical enough to keep their collections in the kind of shape that would command top dollar today. But a few have, and it's likely that the value will keep going up on those mint and near-mint LPs.

How fanatic, one might ask. Well, some might think I qualify. A while back, I spent almost $3k on a unit to just clean my vinyl (Loricraft record cleaner - look it up). Crazy - yup! But some dedicated audiophiles have listend to my vinyl and commented afterwards: "I never realized vinyl could be so quite - I thought I was listening to a CD".

Like any hobby, the extreme end can get pretty extreme.

 

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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 06:32 AM
quote:
I still have a turntable, but I don't have a working receiver
My JVC turntable is all I have left from my old system too. I did buy one of those all-in-one deals that has a turntable on top with a cd player and fm radio and speakers built in to look like an old time radio. It works pretty well and only cost around $100. I bought 2 albums this weekend and gave them a spin!

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 07:34 AM
quote:
at my 30th high school reunion last month I hungout with a friend and musicians from back in the day who still had his Bose 901's 35 years later, and they still crank.


I still have Cerwin Vegas (High Energy Design - 15" woofers) that I bought in 1978 - but I've had both woofers replaced, as well as one tweeter.

Also still listen to lots of vinyl, although on a fairly cheap Technics turntable a co-worker gave me in exchange for a couple of beers.
Stoopid thing can't play 78s, so I'm limited on what real old stuff I can listen to right now.


 
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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 07:45 AM
Oh Man, I love my old records. I had a fire some years back, and lost many in it, but always believed they sounded better than cassettes at the time..and still do in regards to CD's. There are many sounds that seems pushed back on CD that are prominant on records. One apropos example is Duane's solo on the end of Wilson Picketts Hey Jude. His solo sounds so much more prominanbt on Vinyl than CD. I feel i have to almost strain to hear it on CD as opposed to my record.
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 07:49 AM
quote:
at my 30th high school reunion last month I hungout with a friend and musicians from back in the day who still had his Bose 901's 35 years later, and they still crank.


Reminds me of a down town bar here in upstate, NY that went the way of the "sports bar" craze a few years ago. It was called "Around the Corner" or just "The Corner," as we used to call it. Anyway, the long time owner sold the place to a young couple who turned it into a sports bar with all the TV's, larger food menue, sit down dinners, etc. Anyway, I remember the last time I had a few drinks there just before the new owners took over and looking up at the ceiling at the Bose 901's and wondering where they would end up. I think they had four of those bad boys in the bar area. They were very sweat and had been hanging there for many years. Let me tell you, I heard many great tunes through those boys, including vinyl records in the old fashioned juke box that probably is still laying around somewhere in the building. Ah, those were the days.

 

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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 08:15 AM
Digging this thread to the nines -- to this day & age of digital greatness & the perfect sound of CDs etc, have yet to hear a stereo that topped the system I had years ago -- JBL Jubal floor speakers, Dual 601 turntable, and a Luxman integrated amp -- volume did not matter, there was no distortion at all -- my current system I've had for many years now -- still play records, & can only laugh when people say why do you still have those records --
-- yuppie say, go forward move ahead -- I say, fine, but nothing wrong w/the tried & true either -- vinyl gives best of both worlds, except the artwork adds so much to records, & nine times out of 10 the original analog will sound better than digitally-remastered-for-CD.

 

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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 08:27 AM
It's great news....maybe the record companies will sit up and notice that people are seeking out quality recordings, and not just that compressed, LOUD crap that's been saturating the airwaves for the last ten years.

Old vinyl is great because, unlike newer "remastered" cds, the dynamics are full, not compressed, no-noised and digitally cold...the warmth of vinyl is something you just can't grasp if you've never heard it.

Some earlier cd releases sound much closer to their vinyl counterparts than later cd issues....hunting the best cd release of favourite albums is a past time for me, quite rewarding for the ears when you find the right one.

quote:
Actually, if you watch some of the prized titles on eBay - things like original MFSL or DCC releases - you'd be shocked at how much collectors are paying. Goldmine is one thing. But tapping into the audiophiles and collectors, AND having both quality and honesty in your ratings, and it is not uncommon to see some titles going for $200+, sometimes a lot more...




Yep, the gold dcc/mfsl releases are also subject to high prices, depending on which release it is....for example, ABB's Brothers and Sisters as done by MFSL isn't expensive, because it's considered "too bright" or trebly so the original Dennis Drake mastered cd release is considered superior, while the MFSL EAP is worth $30 more than B&S sometimes, because it's got better sound, in many opinions, to the original EAP release on cd.

BTW, MFSL is releasing a gold cd version of Idlewild South...should be out by the end of the month.



 

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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 09:10 AM
Quite a number of artists nowadays release their recordings on both CD and vinyl. And more and more so, the vinyl itself is of "audiophile" quality. By that the vinyl iis "virgin vinyl" and the weight of the LP itself is generally 180 or 200g, which is much heavier than vinyl recordings of the 70's, and lends itself to better tracking, which means a better sounding recording. Anyway, here's a link to one source for those interested in buying "new vinyl".

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/category.asp?category=1030

Also, if you don't already have a GOOD turntable and cartridge (the cheapies will EAT your vinyl up) then you need to get one. Here's a link to some turntables and some of prices will give you "heart faliure". But two of the more affordable ($350 range) and very good turntables with cartridge are the Music Hall and the Rega.

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/category.asp?category=120&filter=&a mp;fl=&sort=&order=&page=2

[Edited on 7/17/2007 by cleaneduphippy]

 
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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 09:16 AM
Do I still like vinyl. I still play some of my 78's on the console system at the farm.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 09:22 AM
quote:
Quite a number of artists nowadays release their recordings on both CD and vinyl. And more and more so, the vinyl itself is of "audiophile" quality. By that the vinyl iis "virgin vinyl" and the weight of the LP itself is generally 180 or 200g, which is much heavier than vinyl recordings of the 70's, and lends itself to better tracking, which means a better sounding recording. Anyway, here's a link to one source for those interested in buying "new vinyl".

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/category.asp?category=1 030




Thank ye.

 

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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 09:35 AM
Vinyl & tubes never left my house either. I have a tube radio from the late 1920's. Beautiful piece of furniture. Last night Robert Cray opened for Buddy Guy and there was a tube amp onstage

 

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  posted on 7/17/2007 at 09:36 AM
I listen to my records all the time. Wouldn't give 'em up for anything. Have been buying some on ebay. My local record store has an entire room of vinyl. He gives me lp's every time I come in. It's great! One thing, though, that's really hard to find is any Hendrix on vinyl. He said the kids buy 'em as fast as he stocks 'em. That's encouraging about our younger generation.

 

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