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gbhsi1's picture
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Vinyl quality?

Hi,

I was wondering if someone could explain what is the difference in audiophile vinyl from normal vinyl? is normal vinyl not good quality ie: newly released vinyl? When I was at the manchester sound & vision show diverse vinyl had some interesting categories in which they placed their vinyl eg: near mint pressings??? audiophile??? and 'bog standard' new vinyl??? Can anyone tell me the difference please?

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?

Hi, from what I understand about this, the virgin vinyl is purely non-reused vinyl. I think it is just basic vinyl (the same material that was always used) but all the pressings have come from just one source, as opposed to various new amounts of vinyl being added, especially with really large pressings that would presumably require many seperate 'batches' of new vinyl material during the long manufacture process. i think a lot of the virgin vinyl pressings are done in relatively small quantities, so automatically avoiding this issue. I don't know how impressive the end result is really though (especially when comparing modern virgin vinyl records with good quality 60s and 70s classic LPs, I've had v little problem with sound wise, bar the odd Pink Floyd LP), and most of the popularity of this new label seems to be relying on the reputation of vinyl quality being damaged during the 80s, when vinyl quality went down noticeably- I would assume, due to the especially large volumes of LPs released (see above)/more artists having massive pressings than in the past and manufacturers saving costs by making many LPs super-thin and flexible/easily scratched. Apparently, at some point, manufacturers even recycled vinyl to make savings. I have a fair few 80s LPs though(!) and would have to say that, via a good hi-fi, things aren't so bad as people have generally made out(Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden was a pity though). Yes, it does have to be stated that the generally heavier and thicker virgin vinyl (the increased weight is offered as a bonus) does seem to be more resilent though- I certainly don't find these not to get generally scratchy-sounding over time- the same as seems to be the case with the average-thickness majority of my normal LPs I have. Saying this though, I only have a few of the virgin ones.


Anyway, the main result of virgin vinyl being around and being strong over 10+ years, would seem to be that it shows that vinyl's comeback is well and truly established. Now we just have to concentrate on improving vinyl cutting (etc) technology and getting rid of digital recordings for vinyl(!) and all will be dandy!

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?

Put simply , a standard vinyl LP  weighs 120g Audiophile LP'sweighs 180g , 200g ,220g. Both standard vinyl and Audiophile vinyl are made from the exact same material. However it is said ( no scientific proof ) that 180g and above will sound better and last longer. We do know the 12inch single probably has the best sound because you have one or two tracks on a vinyl disk the size of an LP. The fact the groves are wider apart on the 12inch single makes it sound better.

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Re: Vinyl quality?
gbhsi1:Hi,

I was wondering if someone could explain what is the difference in audiophile vinyl from normal vinyl? is normal vinyl not good quality ie: newly released vinyl? When I was at the manchester sound & vision show diverse vinyl had some interesting categories in which they placed their vinyl eg: near mint pressings??? audiophile??? and 'bog standard' new vinyl??? Can anyone tell me the difference please?

Near mint.. maybe played once or twice.

Audiophile.....hairyshirt (imo listen to the system not the music)

Bog standard........a floor lamp down the toilet.

Sorry  Wink

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?
I.D.C.:Put simply , a standard vinyl LP  weighs 120g Audiophile LP'sweighs 180g , 200g ,220g. Both standard vinyl and Audiophile vinyl are made from the exact same material. However it is said ( no scientific proof ) that 180g and above will sound better and last longer. We do know the 12inch single probably has the best sound because you have one or two tracks on a vinyl disk the size of an LP. The fact the groves are wider apart on the 12inch single makes it sound better.

It's more to do with the higher tracing speed. The reduced groove density does eliminate pre-echo.

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?

I got a new LP the other week, Lucero's new album, and the sound quality is awful. real quiet and lacking any dynamics and power and real flat treble. How can a major label (universal i think) let this happen? It's a regular weight vinyl (limited edition blue). The cd/mp3 download is mastered well and sounds bright and powerful.

 Kind of sucked. 

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Re: Vinyl quality?
Tim Cooper: I got a new LP the other week, Lucero's new album, and the sound quality is awful. real quiet and lacking any dynamics and power and real flat treble. How can a major label (universal i think) let this happen?

Because it's cheaper than doing it properly of course!

It's a regular weight vinyl (limited edition blue). The cd/mp3 download is mastered well and sounds bright and powerful. Kind of sucked. 

Yeah there's plenty of those out there, I've bought a couple, sometimes the "non-audiophile" pressings are ok, sometimes not.

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?

Mabey I am wrong here and someone will be kind enough to keep me corrected

Are new albums not recorded in digital then trasferd over to analog ?
I'm no expert in this field but I also purchased a cd by Hocky then went along to there gig where you could buy the album on vinyl.
The cd is vastly superior to the Vinyl copy. However I find older albums from pre-digital day's in most cases far superior to cd.That's why I don't by newly realised albums on Vinyl.

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Re: Vinyl quality?

Some record labels are latching back on to the vinyl scene again and are releasing new stuff on silver frisbee and vinyl. Its a nightmare for the guys who have to master digi format onto vinyl by all accounts. But yes you are correct.

Not so sure i agree with you on the older vinyl. There are some pretty skanky recordings out there,but a bad vinyl recording beats a bad cd anyday.

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?
walkman-man: 

most of the popularity of this new label seems to be relying on the reputation of vinyl quality being damaged during the 80s, when vinyl quality went down noticeably- I would assume, due to the especially large volumes of LPs released (see above)/more artists having massive pressings than in the past and manufacturers saving costs by making many LPs super-thin and flexible/easily scratched. Apparently, at some point, manufacturers even recycled vinyl to make savings. 



Actually vinyl quality went down from around 1974 - so the 'golden age' of vinyl + music was about the 10 years before that. The reason given at the time was that the Arab-Israeli war of 1973 caused a sudden huge price rise/lack of availability of petroleum products. Other side-effects of this, if you are a conspiracy theorist, was that the record companies (very wealthy at that time!!) 'manufactured' punk in order to shift high volumes of records using a lot less vinyl (45s again).


Or maybe that's an urban myth and quality would have gone down anyway. Certainly a first pressing of those lovely Island LPs from 1970 are at least as good as any audiophile pressings available today. The real tragedy is that they all got played on crappy record players!

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?

Pre 1973 LPs are considerably thicker than post 1973 LPs. The LPs of the late 70's were of real bad quality.

When I got my first CD-player in the 1980's, I had the chance to compare some original LPs, to new CD versions. The CDs revealed details I could not hear on the LPs. And mind you, that was the cheapest CD player available, and a good, mid prized turntable (Rega Planar 3/Elys cartridge). And it was pre 1973 LP's.

In the old days conventional wisdom was that the vinyl of an LP would deteriorate with time, and after about 30 years the chemical changes in the material would have affected the grooves so much that the sound would suffer audibly.

I've got records that almost 40 years old, and it's true the sound is bad. Whether this is caused by deterioration, wear, or bad quality in the fort place, I can't tell...

Anyway, what today's vinyl fans seems to forget, is that vinyl records are worn, even with high end players.

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?
Fahnsen:

I've got records that almost 40 years old, and it's true the sound is bad. Whether this is caused by deterioration, wear, or bad quality in the fort place, I can't tell...



I've got LPs that are 50 years old and still sound superb (HMV, Mercury and Capitol pressings). Must be that pressing quality varies from one plant to another. Most of the EMI-related vinyl lasts well.

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Re: Vinyl quality?
ChrisMM:
Fahnsen:

I've got records that almost 40 years old, and it's true the sound is bad...


I've got LPs that are 50 years old and still sound superb (HMV, Mercury and Capitol pressings). Must be that pressing quality varies from one plant to another. Most of the EMI-related vinyl lasts well.



I concur - I've got my mum's original beatles albums and even though scratched (NB - not to be confused with poor sound quality) the sound that comes out of the speakers is sublime.

The problem with old vinyl is if it's been played with a chipped stylus. I've bought a first press of Cockney Rebel's Psychomodo from fleabay, that visually looks perfect but sounds appallingly distorted...

Anonymous
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Re: Vinyl quality?

Other vinyl articles get real crappy in a couple of decades. I really don't know what would make LPs different.

Any playing would wear the surface anyway; it's only a matter of degrees between the perfect stylus and a crappy one. Most of the wear comes from particles ground between the stylus and the surface; not from the stylus itself (that's of course why the stylus itself is worn).

As for the 'sublime' sound, I think that's 'in the ears of the beholder'. You'll have to have a rather selective hearing to keep scratches -- as well as all the other other noise and distortion following from the mechanical reproduction -- out of it.

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Re: Vinyl quality?

Unless scratches are really deep, then I have to admit to not being bothered by them. People weaned onto CDs/MP3s seem to be a lot more sensitive to these sounds then those weaned on vinyl and C90s.

I'm not sure if your comments refer to the polyvinylchloride present in records or some other sort of vinyl - I have many records, going back 50 years in some cases, where the sound quality is excellent (and I don't mean in a nostalgic way - zero scratches, truly hi-fi).

It's the timbre of instruments, the air around them etc that really appeals.

And yes, I agree it is a personal thing. I wouldn't be building a collection of 2nd hand records otherwise!

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