I find myself in a Memphis frame of mind.
Compelled to find, listen and support musicians who are making great music.
I love discovering new artists, and championing these artists and am happy to fly in the face of conventioning by buying their actual CDs, not MP3 rips or compressed to death digital files, but CDs with full Wav files embedded. Sound as close to being there as you get.
And those who love records, cool, I’m also noistalgic for those pretty sleeves, and beautiful liner notes, and the sound is nice. And its nice records are undergoing a resurgence, rising tides lifting all ships and all that, but let’s put it out there and be real, The record is inherently an inferior medium to the CD.
To the LP acolytes, try and hear what I’msaying.
Quantifiably CDs can record and replay higher highs and lower lows than vinyl. Vinyl is not good at base and not good at highs. The extremes of frequency range that some of us like our music to hit.
For the midrange, sure, Vinyl can pump that out. And maybe at that middle range the so-called warm sound of vinyl, has something noteworthy. Better than CD’s midrange? I haven’t found so, perhaps just different, but even granting records some unmesurable ambience in the midrange, you are still left with a playback medium that sounds worse at the end of the song than the beginning. A medium that falls short at capturing highs and lows, and worst of all a medium, that sounds progressively worse the more you play it. It picks up noise, pops, and overtime loses the recorded performance to simple manual degradation. A record, by the time you hit 20 plays, is not the listening experience you started with. It warps with a little heat, or a little cold.
There is something very frail, and transient, and ephemeral about the record, that is especially noticeable compared to the CD. Comparable to the rather quick degradation over time of a VHS, 2 prime years, compared to DVD’s 25 year lifespan at a minimum.
If you want music in a form that will last, you don’t get it as MP3, a lossy compression scheme, or as a record that you get 25 good quality plays out of, you get it as a full range CD, period. And if you do get a digital file get a lossless flac file, not a butchered mp3. MP3 is perfectly fine to sample music on Spotify, to help you decide what to buy. It ius not in itself a music quality medium.
Now if you understand vinyl’s intrinsic weaknesses and strengths, potentially a very unmanipulated experience being its strength, a warm, limited range medium, perfect for catching the live experience being its strength, and the LPs are mastered and priced for that sort of punchy deliverythe way Jack White’s THIRD MAN RECORDS has been doing it, recording the performance in his studio direct to wax, analog all the way, and you have something close to unmanipulated and pure. And something distinct from the more full range and long lasting CD format, and something with a value all its own.