I HAD never quite been enamoured with compact discs. I grew up listening to vinyl, and whether it was the product of conditioning, better fidelity, self-deception or whatever, my preference firmly stayed rooted with the LP format, even during CD’s heyday. So you’d think then, that I’d be over the moon with the 21st century vinyl revival. Maybe in the earlier stages, but if asked on it today, my feelings have crept somewhat to the opposite end.
Reasonably-priced used vinyl (read: between cheap and dirt cheap, given my warped perception of reasonability being still rooted in mid-1990s currency values) has dried up where I live. Not literally, but you know what I mean. The utopia many of us of more measured means experienced when these were still in abundance is way over. To rub salt into wound, my most recent new vinyl purchases were sonically disappointing.
Fortunately, I never got rid of any of my CDs save for the few odd ones which I grew over time to not care for. Unlike vinyl, which required maintenance, space and inconvenient hardware to replay, which probably accounted for why most in the previous generation offloaded their collections, CDs were still readily playable in the car, computer or one’s cheap optical disc video player and uh, more compact. It made sense to still keep them a while.
But most can only tolerate one inconvenient format (any physical media, in today’s thinking for many) in their household, and given the trends in CD and vinyl sales, the LP seems to be winning the fight to stay put in many peoples’ systems. The result? CDs seem to now be the new fading format, with lots of them flowing into the used market at, you guessed it, “reasonable” prices.
My own personal circumstances forced me to temporarily downsize to living in a small apartment, and needing an apartment-friendly system. This change got me back into listening to CDs as my primary source (I could bring but a few of my LPs over, but two box-fulls of CDs were easy enough to manage). I used an old cheap Sony player which, surprisingly for a freebie near-throwaway unit, seemed to transcend its sonic limitations and manage to entertain me within the context of its use.
This then caused me to consider upgrading to a better player, something many in this hobby/disease may have seen coming a mile away. I thought back to my long-departed Meridian 200/Audio Alchemy DTI/Monarchy Audio 22A and belt-driven CEC 5100/diyparadise Monica 3 combinations. Good sounding as they were, I decided I wasn’t going to go back to such multi-box madness. I sought out a few of the new standalone CD players in the market I was willing to afford, but nothing within my budget tickled my fancy. Buying used, especially from individual private sellers at the prices some were asking, was deemed a risk I would only take if other choices diminished.
On a whim, I sent my old dealer a text message enquiring if he had anything suitable. Semi-retired with his offspring now poised to take over the business, he informed he had stocks of reconditioned old Micromega Stage 3 players he used to sell as the brand’s once local rep decades ago. I knew those Micromegas to be good sounding, but those of you who know their history would have expected me not to want to touch any of them with a barge pole. Had it been any other seller, that would have been what I’d have done, but he offered a fair warranty period, and most of all, a good price in the context of a brick and mortar long-established dealer’s sale.
So, I took the punt and in recent times, I’ve been rediscovering the joys of my old CD collection. They sound so good, too, such is the performance of this particular old player. It’s caused me to start buying CDs again – used ones. It’s been about half a year now and the player hasn’t acted up (I am praying there is no “yet” to end that sentence). I don’t particularly recommend this player to anyone unless they have the technical competence to tackle the player mech issues which had caused many an owner grief back in the day, or have a good dealer with a good tech in access willing to back up the used sale.
So I don’t see myself buying any “new used” vinyl, except very selectively, for some time. Software availability and price drive hardware, and it’s deja vu all over again with CD being the new vinyl for hopeless cheapskates like me. Funny how things never work out the way one expects them to. Hey, that Krell KPS20i in that used ad sure looks interesting…!
What a let down! Attracted by your heading ” silly vinyl prices” – not a single RM value for vinyl. How to compare pricing? For some ppl a 1 cent coin is as big as a Bullock cart wheel.
There is never, ever, an excuse to question or speculate
About record prices or any other prices.
There are only 2 options:
1. Discogs- no work, 89% of the time the prices are accurate.
2. Ebay – you take an aggregate of the past years sales, that is
Your true market value. The avg selling price will always be equal to avg brick and mortar shop , convention, And private party. This data is free for non members, anyone with a google can handle it. A small child can do it. Everyone can stop bringing their boxes to stores and posting on line asking for values. EBAY SOLD LISTINGS. Not what mentally ill sellers LIST for but the opposite, what buyers have actually PAID. You will notice these all have the prices in green text.
For the joy ( some nice unknown joy), that records bring, I buy and trade albums on Ebay all day long, I have tons of cds that turned into a transparent lifeless objects, art work on albums, is enough reason to collect them.. the reason behind your long sad story, is that you moved to small apartment, we still have space, I always get a good deal on Ebay.
Ii bought the u2 vinyl versions of their 90s and 00s releases. Now working on getting the rest favorite band and love the artwork. Some of them ate colored vinyl. Other than that i vut cds because they sound cleaner tgan crackly vinyl. New lps too damn expensive even though they are better quality vinyl than the okd days.
Well, Good Morning to you! Did you have a nice 40 year slumber???
I’ve loved the CD format since it was introduced in October of 1982. There was FINALLY an alternate solution to the blah sound of LP’s with their inner groove distortion ( where with vocal material the voices sound like an FM tuner which is slightly off of the station) and the hash background sound of cassettes and poor high frequency response with Dolby B noise reduction engaged.
Also, the lack of physical deterioration of the physical media is very appealing.
I’ve been collecting used CD’s since 1998 when about half my collection was stolen from a roommates friend. Along the way I’ve discovered music I’ve never known about before, as well as discs that were NOT supposed to be sold in the first place. Plus advance CD’s and band “demo” CD’s.
Prices are usually a dollar or two. Three dollars is generally my top limit for used CD’s.
I also aquire used DVD and Blu-ray players for very reasonable prices as well. I’ve been able to purchase used DVD players originally selling for $1000.00 plus for as low as $30.00 used (generally missing their remote controls).
All in all, I’ve had the good fortune of experience music and equipment that I would have NEVER been able to own at new prices.
I am an older guy who best years were latter 70’s to the 90’s. I started my CD interest / collection only about 7 years ago. I usually pay $1 to $2 in Thrift stores. My collection of Lite Jazz, R&B, New Age has grown past 200. Only problem is having bought the same CD twice more than a couple times.
Can never ever get the vinyl thing. When i started buying music mid 70’s, i didn’t have much choice. But the format was always cumbersome and inconvenient to me. Along with the hassle of setting up turntables, cartridges ect.
Along came cd in 1985, and i couldn’t embrace it quick enough. The sound quality, dynamic range and convenience just blew vinyl away. Newly recorded cd’s, ‘Brothers in arms, Dire Straights’ being my first, sounded incredible. Ok i went thru the wars a bit with analog remasters for a few years, as some were terrible. But cd has come a long way since then. And i don’t believe for a minute it is a fading format. Sonically, vinyl couldn’t and never will be able to match cd, that’s a technical fact. And now the only reason it’s become less popular, is because of downloading and streaming, which imho doesn’t come close sound quality wise.
And the big bertie bonus for cd lovers is, it’s cheap as chips. In many cases half the price of a download.
I buy very little new these days, but regularly pick up used discs for £1 and £2.For that price you can afford to experiment. If you don’t like it, put it in the next charity bag. If you want the download convenience, just rip them in iTunes or such. Also there is good artwork to be had, especially with digipack versions.
Ok people that have old vinyl collections they want to keep, fine. But the price of new albums now. And from what i hear, sound wise, they leave a lot to be desired.
That’s my take on it anyway.
Here endeth the first lesson.
Actually, the 1985 Warner Bros. Dire Straits Brothers In Arms on a good CD player with a good stereo actually does sound excellent.
When CDs first came out, they were roughly twice the price of vinyl. now albums released on vinyl are often more than twice the price of the CD.
I have watched vinyl coming back into fashion and watched the price going up and can’t help but feel a bit ripped off, especially with “vinyl only” releases. I’ve never been a fan of downloads, so I still will buy vinyl (my music collection now stands at about 4500 CDs and about 1000 vinyls). Is the high price of vinyl these days really justified, I wonder?
The price of vinyl is the price that it was in 1979, with current inflation.
Check out https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ to see what I mean.
The MSRP of a CD in the 1980s-1990s was often $17.98, but paying this price in 1997, the current inflation price would be $28.98 rather than the often $5-12 MSRP many CDs are these days.
Avoid reissues like the plague, they sound lifeless crap, compared to the original. If you haven’t heard the original, then you’ll probably be okay, but once your brain has heard something that sounded great, it won’t forget it, when you hear an inferior version. I bought a reissue of a great reggae dub album, and months later when my friend came to stay with me, he brought the original, ’cause I asked him to, as I thought that maybe I didn’t like it as much as I thought, and we compared them back to back, and the difference was night and day. The original sounded awesome, and the reissue was lifeless and unlistenable to me and my mate. It cost £25!!! which I wouldn’t have minded paying, if the sound was right.
Whether you listen vynil, cassette or cds the importance is the physical presence of the item for the collector. You should fight the awful immaterial downloading stuff unless you turn it into a a cd to add it to your personal collection. Music has lost its meaning when mp3 gave the opportunity of unlimited storing and lost any personal significance.
Cds are still kings of audio but the technology of recording sound has deteriorated with the years.
Enjoy both formats. Vinyl takes pride of place and I got into the cd format late in the game (88-89).
Agree that cd’s are definitely the better economic value. For ultimate fidelity I like Mobile Fidelity one steps but bring your wallet. After buying Esoteric spinners I have found cd can be excellent and sacd truly excellent. Love the ease of the format as I have manual cue on the tonearm and still spin albums all the way through although I do like remote control and being able to skip forward and back on the cd format.
Yes, used to go to Salvation Army and buy albums for 50 cents to a dollar and have some amazing pulls and finds but with the vinyl resurgence those days are gone (at least in my state).
It’s all good. Spin what you like in whatever format you like.
I already possessed a sizable vinyl collection when CD first came along. Initially I was resistant to buying CDs…. Now aged 64, I have about 3000 CDs, and my collection probably gives me more joy than any other aspect of my life. To add to this pleasure, CDs have never been cheaper to buy. I order up boxes of new CD cases and go out looking for CDs as a hobby. Make sure the disc looks fine, the artwork is in good shape, put it in a new case – Roberta’s your transexual aunt. 99% play fine, some sound wonderful needless to say. I’m forever finding gems, particularly classical, but even world music, jazz etc etc. Believe me it’s way easier to find CDs in great nick than it is vinyl.
Let’s get this straight, LPs can sound magnificent, but mostly they don’t. It’s difficult to put an accurate percentage on things, maybe it’s something like 1 in 4 LPs sound great, 2 out of 4 sound passable, 1 out of 4 sound appalling. So which LPs sound great? Japanese pressings, 60s slabs of vinyl in mint nick, Pye, 60s Decca, Chess, Stax etc. I won’t list those that sound bad because it would go on for pages, let’s just say vinyl pressings deteriorated badly as CDs came in. This wasn’t quite a coincidence.
Much as I love LP sleeve artwork, back in the day I got seriously fed up with buying vinyl mail order and receiving bust up sleeves. I can see from feedback on eBay and “The Corporate Narcissists” (think of a big river in Latin America) that folks are getting fed up all over again with exactly the same thing. Oh… and guess what, people still get warped LPs! Only now they cost 3 times what they used to.
The HiFi “industry” and the digital obsessives have been trying to put CD back in it’s box (or jewel-case) for about 20 years now. I have loads of old HiFi mags here and they’ve never stopped banging on about vinyl, it’s gone on for decades. But what it’s really all about is making money, as soon as CDs dropped in price and became plentiful, as soon as people could have great sound with a straightforward 2 box system, the “industry” was looking around wondering what new (or old) ways they could dream up to make lots of money again. You’ve only got to look at the plethora of over priced turntables hitting the market to see it’s gone into overdrive now – I also can’t help noticing that more than 50% of these turntables are just Rega Planars re-badged! Oh, and you must have a phono stage as well – that’s de rigueur.
But I love vinyl I really do, when it’s great it’s really great – if only it was always like that. And to this day, there are some music genres that simply sound best on vinyl – ska and reggae, soukous, dare I say it even some jazz. I never got rid of any of my LPs, but I’ve developed cold feet when it comes to buying it nowadays. Too expensive, too risky, too much hassle.