Honestly, every time a VHS collector says that VHS quality is 'superior' to what we have now, I'm never sure how to respond.
Because I totally get that there's a nostalgic feeling about VHS that reminds most of us of our childhoods, but beyond that there's nothing superior about VHS quality in the visual sense. And I've never had a DVD player chew up a disc I'd literally purchased six hours before. I cannot say the same about the evil son of a bitch VCR my aunt had at her house.
But perhaps I've answered my own question. Maybe the nostalgia factor is strong enough to carry this whole thing. If watching "Uncle Buck" die of glaucoma-vision and laryngitis makes you feel nine again, all power to you. But $ 50 to buy reissued VHS tapes? Man, fuck that noise. I need that money for gasoline.
I'd respect this more if he was talking about laserdiscs, since a high bitrate laserdisc actually DOES kind of look better than a VD. Sure the resolution's a little lower, but it's uncompressed. I can't think of a single DVD I've seen that doesn't have at least a modest amount of compression artifacts.
VHS is fun but it kind of looks like butt. The only non-nostalgic reason to pay attention to it is that there's a lot of stuff left that's only on VHS and hasn't hit the Internet in any form, and most big studio movies got retouched for DVD release. On the other hand, a lot of VHS movies have stuff cut out, sometimes entire scenes. The VHS version of Rocky Horror is missing half of a song.
I can't really criticize this guy in the end, since a good quality cassette dub of a record sounds better than a CD to me and most people would probably find that ridiculous. (mass produced prerecorded cassettes are a whole different story - those things were reproduced at such high speeds that they never had a chance).
StanleyPain, vinyl isn't "making its way back into stores," that happened a decade ago. Vinyl is firmly established. Hell, in my city along I can think of at least five vinyl-only record stores and I can't think of a single place that sells CDs outside of the mall. Even in the big record store crash of 2006-2008 where a huge number of old stores shut down (Boston lost 3/4 of their record stores in 2007 when I was working at one of the few that made it, for example) actual production and sale of new records was consistently increasing. Pretty much remaining vinyl pressing plant in the US and Europe has been working at or over capacity since around '03 or '04. The prices are too high and the quality control is often pretty low (especially for major label artists) but there's a big demand still. Not like back when it was the dominant format, of course, but it's the only really relevant physical medium right now. Cassettes are really trendy these days and there are still hold-outs who buy CDs but records are the only one whose sales have been going up consistently since the turn of the century.
The really surprising one to me is that there's now a label releasing major-label artists on 15ips, 1/2" reel to reel tapes copied directly from the studio masters, which I never expected to see. I mean, I'm not about to pay 0 to get an album by The Band (especially since the only one they offer is Stage Fright - what?) but I'm glad somebody does.
As far as volatility, vinyl is way more durable than CD. You can literally take the shards of a smashed record, put it on a special turntable that has a vacuum plate built into the platter, line the grooves up with a microscope and play it. You can usually
vinyl isn't inherently better than digital (it's definitely better than CD, which sounds terrible) but because of the molecular structure - the way the long-chain PVC polymers are able to flex during play as the heat from the needle softens the surface during play - the resolution is something along the lines of, I believe 1/12 the smallest dimension of a single PVC molecule. I forget the exact bitrate that would be needed to get that amount of dynamic reslution in digital but people have done the math and it's somewhere in the vicinity of 192 bits (that's the bitrate, not the sampling rate remember, and it's exponential, so even 25 bit has twice the resolution of the current industry standard). As far as degredation when you play it, that's so minimal it hardly matters, as long as you keep them clean, replace your needle regularly, set up your turntable properly, and don't play the same record over and over again - like I said above, the vibration of the needle actually heats the surface of the record up enough that it softens, and repeated playback without letting it cool down first WILL damage it eventually, as will a poorly adjusted turntable. Most of the limitations it has as a medium are problems with turntables themselves, not with records. There are all sorts of mechanical inefficiencies they introduce unless you pay absurd sums of money for absurdly over-engineered, hand-made stuff that won't really sound better enough to justify 1/100th of its price tag.
On the other hand, you can get a good low-end studio turntable from the 70s and some nice 60s KH or AR or similar speakers and a good older amp for a few hundred total and it will still sound significantly more musical than any CD based system I've heard (which includes stuff that costs a lot more than a car, in acoustically treated listening rooms) even if it's not as accurate on paper. Which is why I'm not an audiophile and don't take that stuff seriously even though I can hear what they are talking about easily (hell, I can hear generational loss between a CD and a CD-R copy of that CD even playing them on a cheap boom box). That and the fact that moving your head an inch will affect the sound you're hearing more than almost everything audiophile types spend all their money on.
@zircon I know you're joking, but to clarify what I meant, I am aware that vinyl has never been out of production and that it is still a viable medium (I'm a techno fan, so you pretty much have to get into vinyl at some point if you want certain tracks). I'm talking about how it's coming back into major corporate stores that haven't sold vinyl in-house in something like 20-30 years. Places like Sam Goody etc. (although I know that's a bad example since Sam Goody's are shutting down all over the place). I've even heard some Wal Marts are getting in on the "con people into wrongly thinking vinyl is a superior medium,"
CD's sound like ass because of how modern sound engineers master them, not some inherent format limitation. Those old vinyl recordings used the full dynamic range of the format, much to the disappointment of those with inferior equipment. Now everything is compressed to make it louder. They say this sells more CD's, and I don't doubt it, but at the end of the day it's a data format so if you _want_ excellent sound it's there. If you want ass, it's there also. Apparently people prefer the latter.
CD: My copy of They Might Be Giants' "Flood" still sounds just as good as it did when I bought it over 20 years ago.
Vinyl: Assuming I do all of the things listed above, I'd better hope my record didn't get exposed to excessive heat, wasn't stored horizontally, wasn't also at the bottom of a stack of something, etc. during those 20 years or it's not going to sound all that great.
Can you still reconstruct it enough to hear the audio? Sure, but I wouldn't want to sit and listen to a bunch of pops, hisses, and warped sections of a record.
Stanleypain I'm not joking, it must be a regional thing because unless you mean Walmart or something the big mainstream stores (stuff like Virgin Megastore before they closed) around here have had vinyl for a long time. I don't know if they ever stopped selling it, in fact. And there are literally no stores I'm aware of in Providence that carry CDs anymore except for the mall stores and probably the wholesale club places on the west side. There was an FYE but it closed.
|Jet Bin Fever |
Look, I really like a lot of Charles Band movies, even if most of the Full Moon movies are crap. I also love spending -2 for old tapes at thrift stores, garage sells, flea markets. As more and more video stores close out and get rid of their VHS collections, I've been fortunate to get some real gems for my "collection". I think making new, much pricier VHS is ridiculous. I would never pay for a crappy tape. If they were or something, I guess I could understand the kitch.
|Scrotum H. Vainglorious |
I really like this guy.
I like Charles Band too, even though he's a complete sleazeball. I had no idea he was such a prick.
Fool, Money, etc, etc.
I still pick up VHS tapes occasionally, such as "David Carradine's Tai Chi Workout", for 10c at the local op shop, but I no longer have the means to watch them.
Pic here --> http://is.gd/KylToh
I was about to question why someone would part with for this trash, but I just saw the cover for "Angela Lansbury's positive moves" at the above link and now I understand.
| Register or login To Post a Comment|