1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Finding Vinyl hard to fall in love with

Discussion in 'audio' started by snaphappybob, May 22, 2023.

  1. Mike Hanson

    Mike Hanson Lovely!

    I don't mind the quiet ones at all, and very much prefer that to brick wall compression.

    Btw, the very first CD I bought was from Steely Dan. ;)
  2. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Waaay OT and with apologies to the OP but I'm curious if you know The Woods by Sleater Kinney and what you make of it Tony?

    I remember when I first heard the LP at the time I assumed something had gone horribly wrong with the pressing! It's a horrible nasty distorted mess... and over the years I've grown to absolutely love it. Though I think 15 years on they're still moaning about it on the Hoffman forum : )

  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Not an album I know, but it’s a decent enough racket based on that video! I’m fine with artistic decision and some low-fi stuff sounds superb IMO. My problem is with stuff that clearly should have dynamics but is mastered without, e.g. Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc. I’m far less annoyed with truly obnoxious distortion like the Sleater Kinney even if the quiet bits are as loud as the loud bits! It is what it is, a very deliberate aesthetic. Flaming Lips are another good example where it is all so deliberate you can’t really knock it. The amusing thing there is just how different the vinyl and CD of Yoshimi sound! Both good, but the vinyl is way more chilled out as you just can’t cut the crazy ‘always on’ stuff of the digital.
  4. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    That’s an interesting one. On balance I think I prefer the CD. The Flaming Lips are an ‘always on’ band, occasionally pretending not to be.
  5. Alun Rains

    Alun Rains Jus Juan Cornetto

    I bought a PL12D in 1975, gave it to my youngest son many years ago. He still uses it today. The best £50 I have ever spent.
  6. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    It's never really occurred to me to listen to them at home but that's my experience on the occasions I've seen them live. Wowser!!
    Alex S likes this.
  7. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Tony, if you don't have them check out all the Sleater Kinney records up to The Woods. I think they'll be right up your street. Carrie Brownstein is the acceptable (feminist) face of guitar heroism and Corin Tucker's voice is a force of nature. Just stupidly good in full flow. One of the few bands I've travelled to another country to see play.

    (again, apologies to the OP for the digression...)
    DrBallMD and Tony L like this.
  8. Birdseed007

    Birdseed007 pfm Member

    I agree totally with the other advice here - putting a budget turntable in front of a NAC52 is never going to end well!

    To be honest you really need to be at the level of a £3000 deck like a GyroDec with a decent (say AT-OC9 - £500) cartridge to hear vinyl start to beat good quality CD/streaming sometimes - and even then it won't be better all of the time. One of the peculiarities of vinyl is the warmth that people associate with vinyl is something that gradually disappears as you spend more on a better vinyl front end! A top flight turntable often sounds very similar to digital in terms of presentation but what I do love about analogue is the absence of what I call 'digital hash'. There's a grainy, etched, busy, stressful sound to digital quite often that makes my ears ring - especially played loud and vinyl doesn't have that. Vinyl is usually a lot more enjoyable to turn up and boogie with!!

    As somebody posted earlier part of the appeal of vinyl is the ritual, the nicer to use format - artwork, sleevenotes etc and the joy of tracking down obscure good pressings of classic rock, soul, jazz or blues records often secondhand. I find most modern recordings with their compressed harsh sound are equally bad on both formats but pick up a nice pressing of Dire Straits, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac etc and prepare to be blown away on a nice turntable!

    One final thing - I find the difference between moving magnet and moving coil cartridges (even moderately priced MC's) is vast. There's just a whole lot more clarity, dynamics, top end detail with the MC cartridges I have used. Coincidentally the last moving magnet I owned was the A&R P77MG cartridge and even back in the 1980's it was considered a warm slightly turgid sounding cartridge. I changed it to an Audio Technica AT-F3 and never looked back!!

    Hope that helps provide perspective.

    Darren likes this.
  9. MotelBlues

    MotelBlues pfm Member

    I’ve been doing much the same thing myself. With apologies for their shonky search engine, .

    Even that’s overpriced compared to charity shops, though: 3 CDs for £1 is not uncommon, the recycling centre near me sells ten CDs for a pound.

    I’m a vinyl listener by preference, but if, forty years ago, the first CD players sounded like a Hugo and discs cost 10p each rather than £10 things might have worked out very differently.
  10. JoeJoe

    JoeJoe pfm Member

    I had to dump my entry level TT before I renewed my love affair with vinyl. If you have been listening to high end equipment adding a budget deck, just doesn’t work. That was my finding, at least. I replaced my budget deck with a second-hand LP12 and the ‘Majik’ was back. Currently using an SL1200G, which I can’t ever imagine saying goodbye to.

    I’m a critical listener though and that’s expensive in the world of TT’s. My friend bought a brand new budget TT the other day and I can hardly listen to the thing. Yet, he’s beaming from ear to ear as hops up and down changing all his records….
  11. sonddek

    sonddek Trade: SUPATRAC

    I wouldn't give up on the Pro-Ject yet. Put a decent modern cartridge on it, something not too brash from AT or Ortofon and make absolutely sure it's set up right and you should get some fun - hopefully enough fun to convince you that vinyl is a viable format. After that the sky is the limit, but you do not need to spend excessively to get a destination result. I've just been exhibiting at Munich High End with a vintage Technics, a two grand arm and a £700 Audio Technica AT33Sa. Would I be satisfied if that were my only deck forever more? Absolutely.

    If your Naim makes a decent, fun budget deck sound worse, your problem is the amp.

    BTW, when I said "decent modern cartridge" that would include some fairly budget options like VM95ML, VM540ML and AT33PTG (budget by MC standards).
    Paul Mc likes this.
  12. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    I must admit that although I’ve got a pretty decent Orbe/Lyra Kleos, when I hear relatively budget systems, eg a
    Lower end ProJect or Rega for instance, I can still totally get the enjoyment possible from those systems for say £1500-2000. Is it the last word in finesse & detail? No of course not, but it can still get the toes tapping & the head nodding.

    I’ll happily bow to Sondeks superior tech knowledge but personally I wouldn’t be putting even a modest MC cart on a debut carbon. I’d top out at something like swapping out the 2m red stylus for a blue ( which is a 30 second job) or something at that level.
    Also not sure if you can adjust the rear arm height on a debut carbon to allow for different carts VTA?
    I’d prefer to spend a bit more on a decent phono stage with mm & mc capabilities to allow for future TT upgrades.
    I think some lower end ProJects are supplied with Sumiko carts in other markets so I guess there must be some sort of adjustment, maybe shims like Rega do?
    JoeJoe likes this.
  13. GordonM

    GordonM Well-Known Member

    I've had my LP12 since 1980's and when the original K9 cart wore out my local dealer replaced it with a Goldring 2200 which never sounded as good even although the setup was spot on.

    However, I recently started to dig into why it was too bright and discovered that the loading on the Goldring was recommended 200pf.
    My NAC 62 NA322 MM cards had 470pf (I think it was) as standard. Bought some 100pf * polystyrene caps and swopped them out.
    Completely changed the balance of the sound. Now much more neutral and very enjoyable.

    The OP doesn't say what A&R cart was fitted, just NOS but it probably matches the loading on the MM stage in the NAC52, although worth checking out.

    IMO loading is an underestimated consideration with older amps and newer carts.

    * The tone arm cable is usually about 100pf so take that into account.
  14. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    2nd hand record shop near me is buying all he can, buys for 50p & sells for £2-3. He is getting more & more youngsters buying CDs as they can’t afford vinyl, CD is also seen as retro.
    domfjbrown, MotelBlues and Paul Mc like this.
  15. sonddek

    sonddek Trade: SUPATRAC

    I ain't got superior nuthin! ;-)

    I think you're right - I suppose my AT33PTG suggestion was just an idea to show that vinyl is viable before the recommended upgrade to a more serious deck and phono stage. The cartridge abides.
  16. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    I think that you can get enjoyment from your deck as long as you get something like the Ortofon blue MM and make sure it's decently set up.
    sonddek likes this.
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    MM cartridges are hopelessly misunderstood IMO. Take a good one, put it in the right mass tonearm, and load it correctly and it should perform superbly well. There is no inherent advantage to MC, both are perfectly valid technological solutions with slightly differing strengths and weaknesses. We are just in a MC fashion place at present IMO. If one lives outside the fads of the current marketplace that can be ignored.
    NickofWimbledon, Durmbo and Mr Pig like this.
  18. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Trade: ^'- -'^

    I love that album, it's their best in my opinion. The distortion on that track is deliberate. It's not a problem with the vinyl, it's added in the studio. You're not the first person to make that mistake. You'll notice it gets worse as the track builds?

    Portishead did the same thing, put vinyl crackle on their recording.
    domfjbrown and paulfromcamden like this.
  19. kernow

    kernow pfm Member

    I feel this depends on budget and quality of phono stage. I wouldn't own an MM cartridge and it wouldn't come anywhere near the last two carts I've owned in performance.
  20. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member

    Whilst I agree that you can get great results from MM, I've yet to hear one that can compete with the MCs I've got here which include Hana ML, Hana Unami Red, Lyra Titan, Audio Technica ART1000.

    I'd be very happy to take an MM if there's one that can perform at that level and I can buy replacement stylus rather than have to have them rebuilt.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice