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But it goes to 11...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ghettoastronaut, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. ghettoastronaut

    ghettoastronaut
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    Almost on a whim, I've started getting into vinyl records. I've been tempted by them over the last few years, between my parents' huge collection of 60s records at their home, seeing them on sale at concerts more and more recently, and wanting to listen to some vintage jazz albums that I've found in record stores. But the other week there was a vinyl record sale on at my local cafe and I snagged some Neil Young, Hendrix and Rolling Stones for a pretty good price. So now I'm in the process of finding the right turntable and stereo set-up. I was in a stereo store today and they fired up a demo system for another customer (who was looking to spend way more money than me) and it just sounded incredible, and I'm super excited to start listening on a system better than what I have right now at home, which is either streaming music through my laptop, or using my TV hooked up to my Playstation with the few CDs I own burned onto it.

    It's funny how audiophilia has been in the news more and more lately. There's been a huge resurgence in vinyl over the last decade, and with Neil Young releasing his supposedly hi-fi Pono music player. Which I find rather funny from Neil Young - there's a great documentary/concert of his on Netflix where he says that he does his listening in the car, and he doesn't care if he's listening to a tiny speaker, he knows if he likes a song or not when he's driving. I like that attitude, but then, he's also come out and shit all over modern vinyl releases because supposedly they're all just re-prints of the CD master. And while I do appreciate the listening experience of good sound quality and a proper stereo set-up, I don't think I could ever become one of those guys who insists on spending at least $10,000 on a system to properly hear music (mostly because I'm way too cheap). At the end of the day, music is an art form, and you wouldn't pick up a novel only to sit around and discuss the feel of the book in your hand, the thickness of the paper, and the aesthetics of the typeface - it's about the music and songwriting, and you should still be able to appreciate the artistry of a well-written song even if listening conditions are kind of shitty.

    I do most of my music listening in the car. I have a Sirius satellite subscription which is great because it lets me discover new bands, and makes long drives much more convenient because there's no need to channel surf as I pass through different towns and cities. Not to mention, the lack of commericals - if Dante were to re-write his Divine Comedy, listening to radio commercials would, I'm sure, be featured in one of the circles of hell.

    Focus: How do you listen to music - in the car, at the gym? How do you discover new music? Is it something that you just use as a distraction or entertainment, or is music something very important to you as a form of art?

    Alt-focus: Stereo set-ups. Do you have wireless speakers set up to a network in your home? Do you insist on only the finest gear? Or do you just use earbuds and your iPhone?
     
  2. Juice

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    I have a Beats Pill at home and listen to a few different Pandora stations while I work. I don't really give a shit about discovering the latest and greatest music. For the most part my genre of choice is stuck in an early 90s time warp of alternative rock.

    Bump.
     
  3. JWags

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    I have some pretty nice Bose speakers connected to a tuner in my family room, I need to get a quality subwoofer, but once I do, that will be my primary method of listening to music at home. I have some nice, bass heavy can-style headphones but I normally only use them when I'm working on music production or DJ-stuff. That's sometimes an issue when I'll mix something up, paying attention to the bass and levels, and play it on something much less refined, like portable speakers, and it sounds incredibly thin. But like GA, I appreciate the music more for the music than anything. I can absolutely tell the difference and love when the levels and tone are really rich and crisp, but I'm not gonna be too turned off unless its the really shitty overcranked bass like was bumping at a bar I was recently at. Made things un-listenable.

    In terms of finding music, for hip-hop and electronic music, I browse a decent amount of music blogs and see things on Twitter and go from there. Sometimes I'll go down the rabbit hole after hearing a song on a commercial or soundtrack and dig in that way. In my younger pop-punk days, I was more focused on a singular genre, so I was reading magazines and focused websites/forums and ingesting it all that way. Now, even though I have a few genres I consume primarily, I'm really into taking in as much diverse new music as I can. Top 40 to EDM to Hip Hop to Alternative to euro-pop
     
  4. xrayvision

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    Its funny you mention Neil Young. My sister's boyfriend just had a birthday a few weeks ago and I got him a 1972 copy of Harvest on vinyl because he loves listening to music that way. And we both love Neil. In my opinion, listening to music on vinyl is similar to appreciating film photography versus digital. While there is a tremendous convenience factor with having everything everything stored on a tiny chip, there is more soul and character to analog.
    [​IMG]

    I wish I had space and money for a turntable setup and some nice speakers. I love Sirius and I'm not even ashamed. When I got it back in 2006, I thought it wouldn't be a big deal, but now I would rather starve than give it up. Nothing raises my blood pressure like normal radio and the dj's and the complete lack of variety. Classic rock stations can suck a dick. Its the same 10 songs over and over again. And fuck off with trying to sneak Nirvana and Soundgarden on there.
     
  5. Trakiel

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    [​IMG]

    Focus: Music is a pretty big part of my life. It's the one thing that can cheer me up when I'm feeling sad or depressed. I do my most serious listening in the car, while surfing around youtube is usually how I discover new music. Since my car doesn't have a receptacle to interface with an MP3 player, I still buy CDs. Don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do that conveniently since fewer and fewer places have a decent selection.
     
  6. Czechvodkabaron

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    I listen to Spotify on my computer while I'm at work. I have the membership that lets me listen without commercials. I feel like it is a good deal, since there is a lot of different music available on it and I would probably go crazy at work without being able to listen to something. Work is really the only time when I listen to music.

    A lot of what I listen to is what my parents raised me on. I've also discovered a lot of new stuff from reading Pitchfork, but I probably most often find new music by hearing what other people talk about. I have to say that I have gotten a lot of good recommendations over the years from this board, both in terms of artists that I had never heard of and material that I had never heard by artists who I already knew about.
     
  7. Revengeofthenerds

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    Sirius in the car. Work is a 45 minute drive away without traffic, double that with. Anything in the city is at least 30 minutes. I would give up satellite tv before I gave up sirius. I don't understand how terrestrial radio survives.

    At home, the only time I really listen to music is when I'm doing yard work, so it's regular earbuds and pandora on the phone.
     
  8. zzr

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    Alt. Focus: For a turntable setup, I don't think you can get anything better than a mid-level vintage turntable from the early-mid '80's. Brands like Techincs and Sony, and Yamaha and Denon would be even better. That was the era when the Japanese had perfected mass-production electronics and everything was still made in Japan. Couple that with a new amp and some older three-way floor standing speakers and you have yourself something worth listening to. Add a decent cd played because you'll eventually get tired of the crackling of vinyl, like everyone else did 30 years ago.

    I can't believe how many people have never owned or even listened to a real home stereo system. In college I had a pair of acoustic suspension EPI speakers that produced much tighter bass than the booming bass reflex setups most people preferred. They were still capable enough to bring people from the fourth floor of our dorm down to my room in the basement to find out what that thumping was when I played "Shoot to Trill." You old guys know that drum part. You can't hear that kind of music from an iPod and ear buds.
     
  9. Puffman

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    Focus: I listen to music in the car, at home and at work. Usually I am listening to local radio stations. It does not cost me anything and if I am having to drive a long distance I get the chance to get a feel for how a local area is. My kids are now my primary source of learning new bands, lately they have been burning me a cd of what ever they think I would like. In return, I let them go through my old 60s, 70s, 80s and some 90s vinyl collection so they can listen to how that era music was supposed to sound.

    Alt Focus: When I first got into music, everyone wanted a killer stereo. Problem was after a couple of years then you wanted something better. I made the decision to save a bit more and buy what I felt was keeper equipment at the start. I think it has paid off, as most of my equipment is older than the average age of the forum here, still sounds great and for the most part has never required any maintenance. There is an abundance of 70s stereo receivers that people can buy for pennies. Spend a bit at a repair shop to bring it up to snuff and it will last you 20 years or more.
     
  10. Trakiel

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    My Dad and his buddy each bought a high-end Pioneer receiver back in the mid-seventies. They both still run like champs and pump out some serious wattage.
     
  11. The Village Idiot

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    As many of you know, I'm allegedly a musician, so music is a very big part of my life. Growing up, I didn't have a lot of friends (I know, you're shocked) so my friends were the extensive collection of records my parents had. I used to sit for hours listening to the stereo and reading album jackets and sleeves (you youngins will have to look that up), and imagining what it was like to record those albums.

    The way music sounds is vital to my enjoyment of it. I had a great stereo system with JBL speakers that were really awesome for a number of years. I think a lot of people are missing out on the experience of listening to a well produced album on a decent home system, or even decent headphones. The way the music sounds is just as important to the song as the writing and performance, because if the sound sucks, the enjoyment of the song suffers.

    Frankly, some of the best written pop songs were from the 60's. Unfortunately, the technology wasn't there to properly record the performance, and you can hear the difference. There are some incredibly well produced albums that to feel the full effect requires a decent audio listening experience.

    For me, I use Sennheiser or Shure headphones. I've tried Beats, Skull Candy, and that crap that Apple gives you with your purchase. They are terrible. Some Sony and Audio Technica headphones are ok. Bose will do you ok too.

    I also have a Bose docking station that I put in the corner of a window sill as it gives more depth to the bass.

    As to the whole vinyl thing, I find a good turntable with good speakers to produce a warmer sound - so long as it's mastered from the original analog tapes, and not the digital version. Digital can sound a bit bright and harsh, almost tinny, at certain points. Though a well produced CD can sound phenomenal too. For example, Steve Winwood's 'Back in the High Life' album is a really great sounding well produced album.
     
  12. downndirty

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    I still rock an Ipod 160gb classic full to the brim with decent headphones (Meelectronics, Koss, some JVC). I have just under 300gb of music, mostly blues, EDM and hip-hop. These days I can download and convert mp3s straight from youtube, which allows me to add music slowly and carefully.

    I think vinyls are kind of like baseball cards or stamp collecting for hipsters.

    As someone who has spent $250 on headphones, fuck Beats by Dre. For that kind of money, the sound quality is abysmal.
     
  13. katokoch

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    I listen to most of my music when I'm working in my shop or headed to and from work. If I want to hear a specific artist, I put them Spotify and if I want to browse a genre, I use Pandora. Until then, I'll Youtube the hell out of what I want to explore or to put a title to a tune I hear. I started listing to some newer music outside my normal realm this year thanks to a local radio station (89.3 The Current) that plays a super eclectic mix and focuses on local/independent musicians, otherwise a lot I listen to is stuff I picked up in high school/college. The file sharing system we had between the dorms in college was huge for expanding the music I listen to, because I could download an artist's entire discography in seconds.

    My hearing is already in a downward spiral thanks to a few summers of target shooting without earplugs (yay for tinnitus) so I usually have the volume just high enough to enjoy it or down out background noise and I don't walk around with earbuds in anymore. I don't place too much of a premium on sound quality anymore- I can tell the difference, but I'm not quite as demanding. One of my roommates has a Bose speaker in our apartment and simply connecting my phone to it via Bluetooth is a feature I like a lot, although I'm guessing that is pretty basic now too.
     
  14. Misanthropic

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    I listen in the car mostly, but the Mrsanthropic bought me a Ueboom wireless speaker that sounds great, so I use that around the house.

    I still have my old component system sitting in a closet, but haven't used it for years. I have a Technics receiver and turntable that wasn't pricey but sounded very good. I never spent a lot on sound electronics, just enough to appreciate the subtleties of what I listened to. I still have a bunch of vinyl, because that's what they sold in the day, including some sweet heavy metal picture discs.
     
  15. Currer Bell

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    I was more into music when I was younger and technology was such that if you wanted a distraction when you weren't watching TV, there was always the radio. Or you were a kid and the best way to spend your Friday night was to watch Friday Night Videos. I only ever had a small handful of cassette tapes and CDs. Over the years my interest in listening to music has dwindled. During my commute in the morning I listen to morning chat shows, in the afternoon it is audiobooks. At home it is either the TV or internet or a book. I will turn on Spotify and listen to music when I am doing chores and want to make it less boring.

    I have never sought out music beyond what is readily available. When someone mentions a band/singer/song that I hadn't already heard on popular radio stations or whatever is on the soundtrack of movies, I have no idea what they are talking about and am honestly not interested in finding out. When I go to someone's house that has stacks of CDs, I stare agog at them all. I have never owned an ipod or mp3 player full of music. My current cell phone only has a handful of downloaded songs that I use for ringtones. I have been to concerts, but most of the time the ones I enjoyed were when the performer entertains in other ways besides standing there and singing.

    I don't know if I am odd or not, most of the time when music comes up, no one ever admits to being as meh about it as I am.