Monday, August 14, 2017

Quality of vinyl hurting sales?

Growth slowing? No, it's not the limited pressing facilities, it's the use of digital files according to some:

"A move to making vinyl records from digital files instead of the original analogue recordings is causing concern in the industry with sales slumping in the first half of 2017.

In the first half of 2015, sales of vinyl records jumped 38% compared to the same period the prior year, to 5.6 million units, Nielsen Music data show. A year later, growth slowed to 12%. This year, sales rose a modest 2%. “It’s flattening out,” says Steve Sheldon, president of Los Angeles pressing plant Rainbo Records. While he doesn’t see a bubble bursting—plants are busy—he believes vinyl is “getting close to plateauing.”
Despite the resurgence of vinyl records in recent years, the quality of new LPs are not as good as “old” LP’s claim observers because record Companies are resorting to laying down vinyl from digital sources.
Old LPs were cut from analogue tapes—that’s why they sound so high quality. But most of today’s new and re-issued vinyl albums—around 80% or more, several experts estimate—start from digital files, even lower-quality CDs."
Full story here:


Anonymous said...

Absolutely. As usual the music biz kills itself. Overpriced BS. I never stopped listening to vinyl since 1988. I've hung in there and still buy one record a week on average. Average price for a new LP or non-audiophile reissue is between $25-$30--no more CD's included, cheap arse packaging and pressings. Just another great way for the music industry to do themselves in again. They always have the feeling the market is going to fall--for good reason now. Record Store Day is the biggest joke--even the clerks I've known for years laugh at what people pay for shite records.

I stopped buying all vinyl 7 months ago besides a couple MFSL, Analog Spark, Barnes and Noble and Third Man releases I know will sound good and last through the years. Sub Pop is not price gouging--you get what you pay for and in the end it's worth it under $20. B

Now I'm back buying well produced SACDs/ CDs at Goodwill for $2. And occasionally buying a new SACD once or twice a month.

Anonymous said...

I purchased an LP from Barnes and Noble which clearly had digital input of some sort, I had an older copy of the LP and the difference was not anywhere close to subtle. That was the last LP I bought from Barnes and Noble.

Anonymous said...

Really? Unless you know there is a difference in how the record was produced (i.e., via analog or digital means) I seriously doubt you could tell the difference between two otherwise identical performances.

Talk about trying to kill vinyl yourselves while blaming it on how it was brought back to life. Sort of like Victor Frankenstein. Vinyl is no monster. It is a format that is enjoying a resurgence because people want something to hold onto. Something tangible. Something tactile. But nooooooo..."audiophiles" complain about the sound being ruined by digital transfers to vinyl instead of just enjoying the music on a format that was written off as dead on the table.

Amazing. Somebody call the waaaambulance.

PatrickD said...

I think there's a couple of issues in the article -- it's not just that some releases are digitally sourced, or even digitally enabled at the cutting stage (which we can argue about being hearable or not) but that some companies are using poor quality digital copies to just have something to press on vinyl. There are many instances of certain labels just using what seem to be using CDs as a source in an effort to tap this market, and the results are usually not hard to discern.

Anonymous said...

I can easily tell the difference between records sourced from digital and those from master tape. if you can't you need to get your ears checked.