Is Dude onto a good thing? Vinyl sales are up 39.3%

A few days after Gustavo Dudamel let it be known that his next release on DG is an LP, Nielsen Soundscan has a spike to report from the vinyl front.

Sales of the ‘old’ medium, dropped by the major in the late 1980s, absolutely soared in 2011 – and to a very young market.

Here’s DMN’s chart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s Dude’s next disc.

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  • Wish I could grab Dudamel, sit him in the sweet spot in my listening room and play a few 5.0 channel SACDs for him. Universal, the owners of his label decided SACDs were too expensive to produce and insufficiently profitable. After a few dual releases on the Polygram labels they declared a one release policy. I thought that meant that like BIS, anything released on a hybrid SACD would only be released that way. But no, their bean counters declared the cessation of SACD releases.

    Recentlly a 34 yr old woman was visited me for lunch. I asked her to listen to one of my SACDs, Christmas with the Palestrina Choir. I did not inform her that this was more than stereo. We played “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing”. I noticed that Rachel a tiny woman was so immersed in my ekornes recliner that her ears were occluded from hearing the rear speakers. On completion of the piece, I said: “Now lets do a little experiment. I want you to sit in this (office chair) which I placed appropriately after removing the Ekornes chair. We listened again and I asked her what differences she heard. She said with an interesting degree of excitement in her voice:

    The first time, it was like I was in somebody’s house listening to a really nice stereo. The second time it was like I was in THAT place! That place where the performance took place!

    No stereo can nearly as effectively “transport the listener to the concert hall” as a properly executed multi-channel recording be it SACD or Blu-ray. A stereo LP is a huge step in the wrong direction.

  • Really? I love the sound of vinyl LPs. It sounds warmer, with more texture and depth. I think peoples tastes are coming around after missing something in CDs. I know they struck me as cold when they came out i the 80’s.
    I don’t miss the distortion of some LPs, however.

    • I have about 2500 LP records. I have a Merrill Turntable with a “Well Tempered Arm” and a Benz Micro cartridge which was the predecessor of the Van den Hul MC – 10 built by Van den Hul and merchandised by Benz. The Verion MC transformer is perfectly suited to the cartridge at 3 ohms input resistance and I used (haven’t listened to this rig for about 10 yrs now – I took apart the room it was located in to enlarge what would become my listening room) I intended to incorporate a separate stand for the LP system in the now smaller adjacent utility room. But after installing my multi-channel SACD system, I really have not wanted to waste time I could be listening to my now 856 (going on 865 when the new order is received) multi-channel SACDs. The SACD is vastly superior to the CD and seems more “analog-like” but it is MORE real sounding than any LP I ever heard and I used to be a real “audio store cowboy” taking in all the best vinyl playback equipment I could lay ears on – even when I knew I could never afford to pay for such items. I am a member of the board of directors of Troy Chromatic Concerts (http://www.troychromatics.org/ ) serving on the “Artist Selection Committee”. I also have held a long term series subscription to the Boston Symphony Orchestra Saturday “C” and venture south of Albany NY on occasion to Carnegie Hall and even as far as Verizon Hall in Philly and the Meyerhoff in Baltimore (got family just outside Baltimore). I mention all this to assure you that I have pretty well trained ears and when I tell you that LPs just cannot get anywhere near the sound of a live orchestra in a good hall, and barely come close to a violin recital or string quartet in a good hall, I do know what I am talking about. Some of my favorite LPs were from Lyrita – I have about 40 or them. and the Bernie Grundman remasterings of “shaded dogs” from the so called golden age of RCA red seal. I also have a good number of HMV and EMI recordings from the pre digital age. But none of them – and I have Apogee Ribbon (Duetta Signatures” speakers for the front left and right retained from my old stereo system – even come close to the spatial realism afforded by my PentaTone, BIS, Tudor, Chandos, LSO Live and other SACDs. The 2.84 million samples per second of the DSD recording seems to have taken the all too familiar edge off digital recordings when realized in the form of an SACD as opposed to a CD.

      A separate word about “depth” unless you like sitting in first 5 rows of the stage, there is no real depth like a stereo recording produces – that “depth” is an artifact of the recording. I notice it even in SACDs which do not adhere to the ITU standard but synthesize the center channel. When the center channel is properly recorded the image is much more flat and hence natural. I sit in the front row of the second balcony (center section) which location has become my very favorite of all in Symphony Hall. The integration of sound is wonderful – I do not miss the much ballyhooed “depth” of stereo recordings, it is totally artificial. I do love the feeling of having been transported to a great seat in a great concert hall that I get from my multi-channel SACDs. This may be something you have to experience to believe however. It would be best experienced immediately after a live concert in Symphony Hall or Carnegie or Verizon or somewhere nearly equivalent.

      We just got back from a great weekend in Boston where we heard the BSO in Weber, Beethoven, Harbison and Strauss conducted by Zinman. The soloist in the Beethoven 1st was Lief Ove Andsnes – this was a wonderful concert! As I listened I thought frequently how much more like that, my mch SACD system sounds than did my stereo which consisted of the same basic equipment.

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