if you have an LP like wilson-philips here, can you concentrate on your music? or are you going to keep dusting the cover?



vinyl has made a surprising comeback in some retail circles of late with some music labels bringing in LPs, both new and old titles. this is happening in malaysia as well. it seems that LPs bring in more stable income while CD sales keep spiralling downwards.

latest to bite the dust is tower records, KLCC. rumoured to owe a debt totalling millions of ringgits to various music labels, news of tower klcc closing down had been circulating months ago. i was late in catching its last breath - sale as graet as 70% off retail price - was held on the last few days before the closure. i was told there was a mad rush among the (lucky) early birds. dang, i missed it.

note: i just found out - to my utter shock - great differences in my blog's presentation when i switched from my normal firefox browser to internet exloper! a lot of things are missing! please, readers, if you can, stick to firefox ;-)

21 comments:

km ng said...

Dear Les,

Hafikaki and you always mention whether a component is "emotionally communicative." I gather both of you value this greatly. I do too and I believe music, like other performing or visual arts, has no soul without this important connection.

To me, 2 of the most important differences between good LP and good CD sound is this EQ (Emotion Quotient) and Tone - the LP having more of the former and more natural and alive in the latter as compared to the real thing.

With Emotional Connection and Mother of Tone - vinyl will never die.

Good tube amps have them too and will also never die - despite being whacked in all physical parameters by transistors amps for more than 50 years.

In fact, vinyl and tube will emerge stronger and better.

P.S. Could have written more but got to see the Germany vs Turkey in Euro 2008 match now.

ifwat said...

I fully agree with KM Ng,

It is just a matter of time before we start seeing record store again..

I am a relatively young professional in my early 30s and I was really brought up in Digital.

My love for guitar amp led me to the wonderful world of tube gears,and not long before I was doumbfounded when I first listened to the first record player;a linn sondek.I was hooked and never looked back.

I have managed to convert some of my friends to tubes,though some of them do not embraced Vinyl like I did because of the high cost.

BTW ,I did not give any sale pitch,just let them listen.One of my friend even said 'how could my dad be so stupid to gave that up for CD'

Sam elliot said...

Km,
I beg to differ.
It might be true 20 yrs ago,but the modern day digital fronts are very,very close if not better than the analogue.

Tube gears though are completely ball game.SS still are a few paces behind,

BTW it was quite a match wasn't it. i was betting for Turkey to win again.Got the scoline right,the winner wrong.Still lost the money...

khairy said...

So sad about what happen to Tower records.

I have been their loyal fan since their days in KL plaza.I used to listen there for hours then,being a cheapskate that I was ,walk across to Music Exchange to buy instead.

Music exchange has long be gone ,and now tower records.....how sad

kurien said...

the heart of the system, the preamp should always be TUBe in my opinion.

The vinyl no doubt was superior but prent day digital are far from inferior.

And from my observation,I notice a lot of music lovers would choose digital as source ,where as Audiophiles tend to stick ti vinyl.

What about those of us musiclovers who are also audiophiles?[like myself].I use a good cd player with tube amps ,of course.Problem solved!!!!!

kk said...

I must concur with the sentiments that the digital playback has improved by leaps and bounds.

It come with an understanding that the digital signicals are actually more sensitive than analogue ones.Things like resonance control isolation,etc that the analogoue lovers hold dear are shown to be as important ,if not more in digital reproductions...

the solid stategears has also improved by leap and bounds,especially those that has been biased to class A. a tube preamp though always bring a certain level of humanness to the music. that,i.e a tube pre amp , imho is still indespensible

loke said...

when tower record went bancrupt in us, i was surprised to find the chain still having its presence here.

couldn't last ,though

sean said...

What about your project Maggielurva?

any chance of having it on Vinyl ?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who says vinyl is better than CD has never hear a good CD based setup.
Anyone who says CD is better than vinyl has also never heard a good vinyl based setup.
To each his own.
When the number of vinyl titles matches or overtakes CD then I will consider adding vinyl to my own setup and I am not holding my breath either for this to happen in my lifetime.

klm said...

first thing first,

There is no doubt that vinyl sounds better than CDs.BUT;

1]You can't tell the difference with some of the better designed CDP of the day like NAIM 555

2]Cd software and recordings are getting better;eg XRCD,FIM

I would consider switching to vinyl once I retire.As for now,It seems to take too much effort for sometime that becomes increasingly less cost effective.

Waiting for my retirement day!!!

uncle keat said...

klm,
you must be a young man,

once you are a pensioner like me,you just want to listen hassle free.

your knee will be too weak to keep getting up and down[unless the invent a remote for turntable]

your eyesight will be too weak to even put the stylus properly.

And the cleaning??wow it reminds me the time before washing machine was invented,just too much to do for musical enjoyment..

in fact i thought cd was invented for people who live in old folks home.their ears[and mine] are so bad you can't hear the difference anyway..

Anonymous said...

A good vinyl set up is just too expensive. But yes, a good vinyl set up does sound better than a good set up digital.

Pls go to some high end shops and listen for yourself side by side.

However, digital is convenient. SACD helps narrow the gap but there is still a gap.

km ng said...

Ifwat,

Since you into guitar amp you must have heard the story of Eric Clapton and the legendary KT66 tube guitar amp from Marshall. When Slowhand heard the unique tone of the amp, he asked Marshall to build him one and the rest is history.


Sam Elliot and KK,

The best of analogue and digital set up is down to the wire. If you like music of the LP era (50-80s), then I think LP is to way to go as remastered CDs usually don't make the cut. For modern digital music, CD is the way though there are still many analogue gems nowadays.


Anon of 4:47pm,

I think you're wrong. LP titles far outnumbered CD titles. Only many LP titles are out of print and/or difficult to find.

All,

Let's not have the never ending debate of which is better - LP or CD? I believe a person can only choose one medium to maximize and pursue on with dedication and passion for better sound. At the end of the day, the medium, whether LP or CD, cannot and must not take precedence over what it is intended to serve, ie, the MUSIC.

Same with our system. Our system cannot be too sexy for the music! :)

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

km and all,
a badly setup turntable system is much more common than a badly setup cd system. a badly setup tt sounds worse than a ordinary cd player.

sean,
we may consider pressing vinyl if the response is good in the next 6 months ;-)

km ng said...

Dear Les,

What is there to set up in the CD system except mainly in its isolation and choice of supports?

To my mind, CD is like fast food where everything is done for you, pretty consistent and you just place the orders. What's the best fast food joint in town?

Vinyl is like your mother's cooking. She'd buy the best ingredients she can afford, has her own recipes and ways of cooking and she'll cook with much effort, care and love for the family.

Anonymous said...

km ng,
"Only about isolation and supports"
I am almost certain that your CD based system is not particularly spectacular i.e it probably sucks compared to vinyl.
Its not just mechanical isolation but electronic too. No CD based system will be any good if there is no power conditioning and isolation between analog and digital components.

km ng said...

Hi Anon of 10:54am,

I said "mainly..." but you changed it to "only..."

The subject here is on set up but you included add on like power conditioning.

Obviously you don't read very well.

Also, you may not know me well enough to say my "CD based system is not particularly spectacular, ie, it probably sucks..."

Hope yours is spectacular enough to bend bullets.

music lover said...

km ng said...

11:52 AM
"...Hope yours is spectacular enough to bend bullets..."

Relax and steady lah:)

Any comparison of CD vs LP or SS or tube for that matter is bound to have friction.

Let tok more music lah irrespective of medium.

Anonymous said...

har, har.....

That is why i said go listen at the shop that carries both hign end CD and Vinyl set up. Then you can listen and hear the differences if any.

No need to listen to others opinion but to the source yourself.

We are talking about higher end right? So no need to compare those mediocre vinyl set up or mediocre CD set up. If you invest >RM30k in each format then you can hear where each format takes you.

BTW, pls also invest in higher end cables and power conditioners and isolation for that matter.

When everything is higher end, then the differences in source format will show up.

If one has limited budget then stay with digital lah. Cheap and good......convenient too.

Anonymous said...

finally kl last ground of clssical/jazz music disappeared.I think niche music store still can survive. You do not need to please everyone but right group.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a niche music store does indeed sounds right and cater to a select group that will always be here. Even if charge a little higher to stay in business is justified.

Audiophiles do not mind paying a little more to get the quality they want.

Able to order online is another plus.