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Setting The Record Straight: With Drew Beringer

Posted by - 12:00 PM on 07/19/14
Drew was recently featured on Vying for Vinyl's "Setting The Record Straight" to discuss vinyl.
For starters, it does seem “cool” to like vinyl, which is great for the format but bad for my wallet (prices are insane). I know for myself I love the warmer sound, I like feeling the music and art in my hands, and I do like the crazy and vibrant colors that may accompany the format. What I love about the recent resurgence is that it is getting people back into record stores and discovering new music and interacting with people with similar tastes and/or interests.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 28
12:15 PM on 07/19/14
#2
red8ge
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Never understood why people buy color over black, unless they're filling out a collection. Black sounds better, why would you buy a color that sounds worse?
12:40 PM on 07/19/14
#3
sweetfootaction
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Regarding the "warmth":
Quote:
Perhaps the best audio-based case for vinyl is actually precisely the fact that it does mess up the original recording. A lot of vinyl fans talk about the "warmth" of records, particularly of the low-end. But, as Pitchfork's Mark Richardson puts it, "the 'warmth' that many people associate with LPs can generally be described as a bass sound that is less accurate." The difficulty of accurately translating bass lines to vinyl without making grooves too big means that engineers have to do a lot of processing to get it to work, which changes the tone of the bass in a way that, apparently, many people find aesthetically pleasing.

"Warmth" also comes from flaws in record players. As the University of Waterloo's Stanley Lipshitz once explained to Popular Science, speaker sound and the needle's height fluctuations can cause the record to vibrate, which the needle in turn picks up and translates into a "warmer" seeming sound.

Is it wrong to prefer that "warmer" sound? Of course not! It would be as preposterous to rule that out as a legitimate source of aesthetic appreciation as it would be to discount distorted guitar lines for being "less faithful" to the original guitar sound. Audio distortion can be beautiful and there's nothing wrong with liking it. But there's also something to be said for listening to music as its creators meant it to be heard, and precisely because of their "warmth" vinyl recordings sound rather different from what artists hear in the studio.

"As a recording engineer, when I go to a digital recording, what I did is exactly what I get back," Metcalfe explains. "When you record in the analog domain, what you're hearing there is different from what you sent in."

I for sure agree with his stance on prices though.
01:10 PM on 07/19/14
#4
mms13
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Never understood why people buy color over black, unless they're filling out a collection. Black sounds better, why would you buy a color that sounds worse?
Is this true? How could color make it sound worse?
03:21 PM on 07/19/14
#5
red8ge
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Is this true? How could color make it sound worse?
You have to factor in a few things.

First, the reason black vinyl is black is because of the carbon black added into the vinyl, which also helps it feel a lot smoother and stabilizes the record. Since that compound is gone in the colored one, it will feel rougher/cheaper (pick them up and compare).

Also, in general colored records are of a limited variety, which means that only a few records out of a run will sound perfect. That's because it takes a while for the extruder, vinyl, and molds to heat up and press perfectly in the production of it. But really, at the end of the day it comes down to the plant. I've had black records that weren't the best quality, but most of them are a lot better.

(never buy clear clear records they are the worst)
07:00 PM on 07/19/14
#6
prettyLUSH16
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Personally for me besides sound, i just love the ritual of listening to vinyl. I like taking the time to have to flip from side a,b,c etc... it makes you really spend time with a record and listen front to back in its entirety the way it was meant to be heard. That's rare in this age
10:04 PM on 07/19/14
#7
mka12992
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You have to factor in a few things.

First, the reason black vinyl is black is because of the carbon black added into the vinyl, which also helps it feel a lot smoother and stabilizes the record. Since that compound is gone in the colored one, it will feel rougher/cheaper (pick them up and compare).

Also, in general colored records are of a limited variety, which means that only a few records out of a run will sound perfect. That's because it takes a while for the extruder, vinyl, and molds to heat up and press perfectly in the production of it. But really, at the end of the day it comes down to the plant. I've had black records that weren't the best quality, but most of them are a lot better.

(never buy clear clear records they are the worst)
I've actually heard clear records are among the best, and white is the biggest to avoid. Huh.
11:39 AM on 07/20/14
#8
Ben Lee
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I've actually heard clear records are among the best, and white is the biggest to avoid. Huh.

I'm gonna pay more attention to this moving forward. I dunno, I have a few colored records and they sound fine. My clear ones also sound just fine, as well.

However, I have Taking Back Sunday's TAYF on white and it sounds like total shit. I mean, digitally that record sounds like shit, but it's way worse on vinyl.
11:51 AM on 07/20/14
#9
mka12992
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I'm gonna pay more attention to this moving forward. I dunno, I have a few colored records and they sound fine. My clear ones also sound just fine, as well.

However, I have Taking Back Sunday's TAYF on white and it sounds like total shit. I mean, digitally that record sounds like shit, but it's way worse on vinyl.
I mean, it really is just a case-by-case basis as far as I know. Not every colored record sounds bad, in fact I've heard of some instances where they sound better than black pressings, however I think it's just more common for black records to be superior.

I have Is A Real Boy and The Devil and God both on white, I haven't noticed terrible sound from them myself, but I also have yet to own a quality turntable, so that may change when I get my setup finalized this coming week.
11:58 AM on 07/20/14
Ben Lee
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I mean, it really is just a case-by-case basis as far as I know. Not every colored record sounds bad, in fact I've heard of some instances where they sound better than black pressings, however I think it's just more common for black records to be superior.

I have Is A Real Boy and The Devil and God both on white, I haven't noticed terrible sound from them myself, but I also have yet to own a quality turntable, so that may change when I get my setup finalized this coming week.

What is your set up? I'm always curious to know what other people are using. I have an Audio-Technica AT-LP60 running through two Bose bookshelf's. Pretty basic and simple, but probably not very cool, lol!

Either way, it was a huge step up from my all in one Crosley that I had for years, haha!
12:07 PM on 07/20/14
Bryan GribbIe
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I've noticed all my white vinyls sounds great, and one or two of my 20 black records sound worse than my colored ones.
12:18 PM on 07/20/14
mka12992
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What is your set up? I'm always curious to know what other people are using. I have an Audio-Technica AT-LP60 running through two Bose bookshelf's. Pretty basic and simple, but probably not very cool, lol!

Either way, it was a huge step up from my all in one Crosley that I had for years, haha!
It's gonna be a Technics SL-1200mkII, a vintage Pioneer SX-780 receiver, and a pair of Yamaha NS-4 speakers. My setup prior was a shitty all-in-one type system my aunt have me for free running through some unknown brand bookshelfs. Pretty mad at myself for playing my records on it for as long as I did. Haha.
12:18 PM on 07/20/14
Ben Lee
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I've noticed all my white vinyls sounds great, and one or two of my 20 black records sound worse than my colored ones.

I only have the one, but I have some clear and some clear/colored and those all sound just fine too!
12:20 PM on 07/20/14
Ben Lee
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It's gonna be a Technics SL-1200mkII, a vintage Pioneer SX-780 receiver, and a pair of Yamaha NS-4 speakers. My setup prior was a shitty all-in-one type system my aunt have me for free running through some unknown brand bookshelfs. Pretty mad at myself for playing my records on it for as long as I did. Haha.

It's great for just starting out though! I went with one of those all in ones because I wasn't too sure about how serious I wanted to get into Vinyl. Once I decided to regularly buy, I upgraded.
12:26 PM on 07/20/14
mka12992
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It's great for just starting out though! I went with one of those all in ones because I wasn't too sure about how serious I wanted to get into Vinyl. Once I decided to regularly buy, I upgraded.
The problem was... I wasn't starting out hahaha. I dunno, I never really put any thought into the quality of what I was playing my records on for some dumb reason. I've been collecting since 2009 (though admittedly didn't get too crazy until around 2011), but I just never realized how much damage I could do to my records by not playing them on good, well-taken-care-of gear, so I just hopped between a few really poor ones until now.

By my estimations, this setup is gonna be ~1,000 times better than anything I've had yet. Haha. Should make up for the lost time.

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