Written by 1:50 pm Analog

Will Hipsters Save Analog Audio?

It would appear that the younger, hipper generation is going retro – even in terms of the audio they listen to. These hipsters are going back to listening to music via turntables and vinyl.


AR-LPs3.jpgAccording
to a recent article in the Washington Post the newest hippest way to listen to
music is via turntables and vinyl. Since I’m probably the last person who
should weigh in on what is and isn’t au courant, I’ll confine my comments to
what I do know – music and sound quality.

Vinyl
records make perfect sense, sometimes. Especially if you’re a fan of 70’s and
80’s pop and rock music because much of the obscure stuff never migrated to
silver discs. Vinyl also offers the advantages of 12-inch by 12-inch real
estate for graphics, liner notes, photographs, and anything else an artist
wants to include. And then there’s sequencing – unlike CDs, LPs by their very
physical nature coerce the listener into listening to a complete side of music
in an order determined by the LP’s creators. I consider that a good thing.

Many
old-school audiophiles and reviewers currently hold up the stereo LP as the
alpha reference musical source. Here is where I must demur. I’m not saying there
aren’t a thousand or even two thousand great sounding stereo LPs out there, but
frankly I’m not interested in limiting myself to those few titles when I sit
down to listen to music.

Holt’s
law aside (his simple truth went like this – “the better the sound, the worse
the performance”), there are far more good-sounding, nay, even reference-level
CDs and digital music files in the world than there are good-sounding stereo
LPs. And the number of reference-quality high-resolution music files is growing
every day from sources such as 2L, Reference Recordings, and MA Recordings and
available via downloads from HD Tracks.

So
excuse me if I don’t get all misty-eyed at the prospect of thousands of hipster
youths parading down main street, USA, waving their fave LPs while chanting,
“Analog YES, Digital NO!” as the saviors of analog audio.

Wait
till they discover Scrabble. 

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