Frankly, vinyl sucks

It’s been widely acknowledged for decades that analogue is “warmer” than digital, that big circles of black plastic inscribed using 18th-century technology sound better than tiny optical discs developed by the finest minds of Japan and the Netherlands, that records are superior to CDs in every conceivable way and have higher incomes, nicer cars, and more stable families.


This is all maybe true if you have a state-of-the-art stylus and stereo system and no sex life, but for the rest of us it’s bollocks.

I’ve been transferring some records to CD for an Xmas present – I bought the records before discovering the recipient had discarded their turntable, so I sat down and linked a stereo with an ’80s stylus to my iMac and played some records from the ’70s recorded in the ’50s. Never again.

Surface noise. Bloody surface noise. The scraping of the needle. Dust. The repetitive cycle of noise generated by the rotation of the record. The reduced dynamic range of a recording which can’t have too much bass or the needle will skip.

On the positive side, records are more tactile objects than CDs, and the album art size is definitely superior. But those are physical attributes, and most music doesn’t exist as a physical object anymore.


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