My little pet theory as to why some people prefer vinyl and some digital.

Alter3go

Member
I'll simplify at first, and then build up from there. It comes down to order and chaos. Those with personality types that prefer order, consistency, and rigidity will prefer digital. Those who prefer disorder, spontineity, and novelity will prefer vinyl. I'm definitely in the latter camp. I have ADHD, am constantly here then there, can barely keeps a schedule, and I love the sound of vinyl.

My underlying theory is that with each vinyl playthrough, it never plays the same way twice. As the needle follows the grooves, it might be a few dozen nanometers off from where it was last time. Although that is a tiny displacement, it's still enough to create a slight alteration in sound. Not consciously perceptible, mind you, but nonetheless unconsciously satisfying. That's why no one can put their finger on exactly why the like vinyl, even though it's objectively worse than digital in at least some ways. But each play through might seems ever so slightly different, and for those who seek novelty, it might satisfy that need, where the super-exact replication of a digital song, over and over, might not. Likewise, if someone does not like any sort of surprise or disruption to routine, and likes to have their expectations fulfilled, then there would be no reason to head towards vinyl and introduce chaos into their music, however slight.

So to (un)scientifically test my theory, post your general personality type and which you prefer. You don't have to put any real details, just stuff like "I like my room neat, I keep a tight schedule and preffer digital".

Let's see where this goes!
 

Alan Weir 1

Active Member
Oooh a can of worms may just have a wee small puncture in the lid!

I would come at it from the opposite direction.
Digital is all about chaos, music anywhere, anytime with an almost unlimited choice. I find myself fliting about from album to song to genre when using digital and sometimes find myself wondering what to listen to even though there is a vast choice.

Vinyl on the other hand is about order. From cataloguing the albums, then choosing, cleaning, setting up and the sitting for a set period as one side plays from start to finish. It sort of gives me the colliewobbles to think of someone laying down the stylus half way through a record and lifting off before the end.

Would generally think of myself as having a "neat and tidy" disposition with the odd can't be assed day. So for me vinyl is what I enjoy most when having a serious listening session, digital is the chaos of the real world.
 

Alter3go

Member
We are obviously talking about different things and there's no sense in splitting hairs. I'm talking about the generation of the sound itself, and not at all how one treats their music collection, though I think its an interesting observation.

What would you say takes up the majority of your listening time when you have access to vinyl, vinyl or digital?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I prefer CD or SACD to vinyl due to the absence of snap, crackle and pop. Simple as that.
 

Alter3go

Member
I prefer CD or SACD to vinyl due to the absence of snap, crackle and pop. Simple as that.
What would you say are some overarching traits of your personality?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What would you say are some overarching traits of your personality?
I've got vinyl in the house that is far older than you, many from 1966 which was undoubtedly the best year for music ever, some even older than that. Quality TTs and amplification was very expensive in those days and HiFi shops would go apoplectic if a bunch of teenagers dared walk in through the doors.

People seemed to like the ritual of wiping down an LP before putting it on the TT and even when I eventually got a fairly good system in the late 1970s I always found it a pain in the arse. Dust, crackles or warped discs always got on my nerves. CDs brought that to an end and some of the early releases more than competed with the dynamics of vinyl but with a cleaner sound.

Besides that the ease of putting in a CD and forgetting about it was something that appealed to my wife who worked from home as a professional photographer spending many hours in a dark room and CD gave her a much easier way of listening to her favourite music. Little point in spending out on two different media and I even started replacing my favourite LPs on CD.

Now I've invested in a fairly high end SACD player and can never see me falling back into the clutches of a breakfast cereal. Besides that SACD will wipe the floor with vinyl. ;)
 

Alter3go

Member
I've got vinyl in the house that is far older than you, many from 1966 which was undoubtedly the best year for music ever, some even older than that. Quality TTs and amplification was very expensive in those days and HiFi shops would go apoplectic if a bunch of teenagers dared walk in through the doors.

People seemed to like the ritual of wiping down an LP before putting it on the TT and even when I eventually got a fairly good system in the late 1970s I always found it a pain in the arse. Dust, crackles or warped discs always got on my nerves. CDs brought that to an end and some of the early releases more than competed with the dynamics of vinyl but with a cleaner sound.

Besides that the ease of putting in a CD and forgetting about it was something that appealed to my wife who worked from home as a professional photographer spending many hours in a dark room and CD gave her a much easier way of listening to her favourite music. Little point in spending out on two different media and I even started replacing my favourite LPs on CD.

Now I've invested in a fairly high end SACD player and can never see me falling back into the clutches of a breakfast cereal. Besides that SACD will wipe the floor with vinyl. ;)
Beyond your slightly condescending intro sentence, you didn't actually answer the question at all.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Beyond your slightly condescending intro sentence, you didn't actually answer the question at all.
We are all different, we all like listening to our music in different way. I prefer CD or SACD. It's been debated time after time after time on these Forums. No one ever wins and most will take it in a light hearted manner. You cannot tell anyone that one form or another is better because it may not be better to them.

It's an argument your never going to win, or lose. Here we go then, second time in a week.
51jR-KhyO6L._SL500_.jpg
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Rather than the media type you prefer, I think a more interesting correlation would be whether your personality type determines your preferred listening genre and then the personality type may predispose you to a type of media as a secondary effect.

For me, an INTJ, it is complex prog metal, I think my mind likes to be exercised in trying to make sense of the poly rhythms and odd chord structures even if it is subliminally and I always concentrate best with this type of music playing in the background. Therefore I am stimulated by detail which, as a secondary effect points me towards digital sources.

Just my 2p worth.
 

Alter3go

Member
See, ugg answered the question like a boss! gibbs, I am not asking about the details of your media preferences, rather the details of you.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Mid 80's kid, I bought vinyl, listened to it on a crap stack in my bedroom.
Got a car moved onto on tape.
Got house and spare cash so moved onto CD and good Arcam entry system.
Had kids, no money onto mp3 to pc - cheap and easy route to new music.
Spare cash again wanted to get into music again, started rebuying CD's.
More spare cash found my old records started buying more, then came here !!

Also I think where @Alan Weir 1 is coming from there's also a collector element in us that lends itself to vinyl and CD purchases.
I prefer to buy a vinyl LP or 3/4 CD's over a £20 a month stream fee.

However, few of my pals have had decent system in the past and probably less CD's than I have. If they were getting back into music, I'd advise Spotify through a phone & bluetooth speaker budget £50 to £250 which would sound years ahead of anything they had listened to in the past.

In summary I reckon its your listening sources and what you listened on that plays a key role.
 

Apollo83

Active Member
For me, the format depends on the mood I'm in...
Relaxed and looking to detox from my digital life - out come the records (~15% of the time)
Inquisitive and exploring - off to Spotify I go (~15%)
Most other moods where i just want good quality music I'm familiar with - CDs (~70%)

In general I would think a bigger proportion of people into Vinyl and maybe CDs today are collectors.
In the past casual listeners and non-collectors would have to have bought vinyl/CD or listened to radio - I would guess more of those people have switched to digital streaming.
Or more accurately, younger people who would have been radio/casual listeners instead have grown up with digital streaming...

As for genres Ugg, I'm an INTP and enjoy varied genres from minimal classical, cool/scandi jazz, ambient (in the Brian Eno sense of the term), Post Rock, Synth/Dream Pop...
In general quieter, slower tempo more thoughtful and intellectually challenging music appeals - very INTP :)

It would be good if Spotify did an anonymised survey where we gave our personality types and they plotted it against their music characteristics for the music we have indicated we like or listen to... any correlation would be interesting...
 
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Alter3go

Member
Maybe I should just straight up ask what percentage you listen to CDs, streaming, Vinyls, and a category for 'other'. So try to give a rough percent if you see this.

I prefer order, consistency, and rigidity but prefer Vinyl!
Thank you for your direct, and contrasting, input.
 

oscroft

Member
Maybe I should just straight up ask what percentage you listen to CDs, streaming, Vinyls, and a category for 'other'.
Shudder, I never listen to "vinyls". I listen to LPs, records, albums, and they are made of vinyl. So I do listen to vinyl, but I never listen to "vinyls" ;)
 

oscroft

Member
My underlying theory is that with each vinyl playthrough, it never plays the same way twice. As the needle follows the grooves, it might be a few dozen nanometers off from where it was last time. Although that is a tiny displacement, it's still enough to create a slight alteration in sound. Not consciously perceptible, mind you, but nonetheless unconsciously satisfying.
Digital has bit errors caused by jitter (that's clock/timing errors). So unless you have super top end equipment that is guaranteed jitter-free, then digitial never plays exactly the same way twice either. Also, the red-book standard allows for a surprisingly large amount of bit loss, and it interpolates (or guesses) whenever it occurs. And it does occur, surprisingly often, especially when reading CDs.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Maybe I should just straight up ask what percentage you listen to CDs, streaming, Vinyls, and a category for 'other'. So try to give a rough percent if you see this.
Cd 0%, Streaming 90%, LP 10%, Live - As often as possible (but not at the moment :() !!!
 

larkone

Member
Lockdown = too much time on your hands to dream up pointless and overly broad discussions that never come to a conclusion because there are too many variables and personal preferences at play :thumbsup:.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
In a word, Microtiming!
Anything that's been through the digital domain at 16 bit / 44.1KHz or even 24/96 will have been time quantised in a way that some suggest can remove the tiny bits of detail that we associate with that "analogue" sound.

The only issue is that anything re-mastered or recorded since the late 80s will probably have passed through some digital processing at some point, so it's largely academic these days.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
rather the details of you.
I'm an old fart.

I like singer songwriters. I love hearing lyrics, individual notes plucked on a guitar. Dylan, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, Tracey Chapman, Laura Marling, Carole King, Carly Simon. I love the California sound of the 1960s and early 1970s with the Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas, Eagles, America. All those have produced quality recordings, Tapestry aside that was woeful on vinyl and much improved when Sony brought out the remixed SACD version. It's a genre that does very well on CD especially SACD.

Thinking of Tapestry and the re-mixed back catalogue of Jethro Tull shows that it doesn't really matter what you listen to your music on if the original is poor so when any media that it's published on. Crap in, crap out.

I like my music to relax me, that goes with my easy going, laid back character.
 

oscroft

Member
Maybe I should just straight up ask what percentage you listen to CDs, streaming, Vinyls, and a category for 'other'. So try to give a rough percent if you see this.
I meant to answer this earlier, but forgot...

Under streaming I'll include streaming MP3/FLAC files from a computer to my music system - I don't use online streaming services at all. For me it's probably around 80% computer streaming, 15% vinyl, 5% CDs. But that's entirely down to the volumes of music I have of each. I have several hundred albums on vinyl, similar on CD, and a couple of thousand as MP3/FLAC (including rips of all my CDs). The reason for that is that you can get a lot more music a lot cheaper as digital files (I was an early subscriber to eMusic and had two maximum subs, and I acquired a lot of music that way for surprisingly little money).

My preferences have changed too. For years I preferred the sound of streamed digital files. That was until I embarked on a turntable upgrade path in recent months, and that blew away the digital playback I had. More recently I've upgraded my DAC and now I think my digital music is almost as good as my vinyl playback. It does depends on the recording, though - I have some digital recordings that are clearly better than LP. But, in the few cases where I have the same top-quality remastered recording on LP and CD, I like the LP better (Example, as Jethro Tull were mentioned, the Stephen Wilson remaster of Minstrel in the Gallery is superb - I have the LP and CD, and I marginally prefer the LP). Over the period in which my preferences have changed, my personality hasn't, just my equipment has.

My personality? Firstly, I totally reject that Myers-Briggs nonsense. Just 16 personality types to define the entire six billion of us, with our infinite variations on all aspects of thought? Preposterous rubbish! Sadly, people seem to like over-simplistic pigeon-holed ways of categorising our world.

So how would I describe myself? (No dear, not just old, overweight and balding... sorry, wife looking over my shoulder.) My professional background is in computer software development, so that's logical, analytical, ordered... and I have mild OCD that surfaces on occasions. (Note that I don't say I suffer from OCD, as I often find it an advantage.)

But then, people generally consider me to be quite laid back. And in my home life, I am generally not seen as organized or methodical. I have a place for everything, and on a good day, everything might be somewhere near where it's supposed to be. Other people tend to despair of what they see as my disorganised approach to personal life - but *I* know where everything is, even if it might seem chaotic to others.

Does that help with the idea that music reproduction preferences can be simplistically tied to generalised personality typing? I sincerely hope not.
 
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Alter3go

Member
Does that help with the idea that music reproduction preferences can be simplistically tied to generalised personality typing? I sincerely hope not.
You must be fun at parties. Wait I didn't say that...the statement quoted is the OCD talking. This is not some deep scientific conversation about the nature of personality and how it relates to the nuances of sonic reproudction, but rather some light banter based on a novel idea that might have a small fraction of basis in reality, all supported by anecdotal evidence, you know, the worst kind of evidence. In other words, it's just supposed to be fun. Don't ruin it by overthinking. 😋
 
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