Vinyl Dominates 2012 Newport Audio Show

Vinyl's continuing growth and perhaps future dominance of the high performance audio scene was evident on opening day of T.H.E. Show Newport 2012. Music Direct, Elusive Disc, Acoustic Sounds, IMPEX, Amoeba Records, Rockaway Records, noted LP dealer and 79rpm specialist John Tefteller (minus 78s) all displayed at the show in what was perhaps the largest collection of vinyl for sale at any audio show in decades.

Vinyl was all over the rooms too as turntables went from being the source used by a cranks a decade ago to going positively mainstream at T.H.E. Show. Mathew Weisfeld proudly showed a more finished iteration of the new $1300 Traveler turntable first shown at the recent New York audio show. The 'table comes complete with a new 10" sapphire bearing gimbaled arm and an aluminum platter.

Mathew brought the 'table with him in a piece of luggage, thanks to its easily removable tonearm. I heard it in the Soundsmith room and the sound was formidable. The Traveler begins shipping right after the show. We'll have one soon for review.

Mikey doesn't shy away from posting unflattering photos.

zoldar's picture

The bloke on the left seems to like CD's halo on his face angle

Layums's picture

Cd's need a bit of bling to stand out. But the guy on the right is a spitting image of the guy on the right in the original photo. Is it his son or something? 

floweringtoilet's picture

but Harry really seems to have aged a lot better than you. Don't get me wrong, you look great, but Harry Weisfeld looks ten years younger than he did in 1982.

Michael Fremer's picture

Great comedy or you don't realize that's HW's on Mat!

detroitvinylrob's picture

Come on now Mickey, behave!

I hate digital too except when it comes to my TV, phone, ...and well, everything that I take less interest in than reproduced high fidelity sound.

Happy (Music) Listening!

Sven's picture

Granted, he first digital recorders didn’t sound very good. The reason for that was partly because digital storage was expensive, as was processing power, which led to the use of low bit and sample rates, (to use less data) and partly because the AD-converters were new and hadn’t yet matured as a technology.

Today, these problems are completely solved. Both processing power and storage has gotten many orders of magnitude cheaper, and the AD converters have gotten much, much better. I would say, to the point of being a non-issue. Add to that the convenience factor. Digital copies don’t degrade the way analog copies do. They can be edited and processed in ways that are completely impossible with analog. Imagine cutting real tape in order to move an early snare drum hit to where it belongs on the grid, never mind pitch and time stretching technology such as Celemony’s Melodyne software that allows a producer to create new harmonies from a lead vocal, change the phrasing, fix the pitch etc, with no noticeable artifacts (as long as it’s done correctly by someone who knows what they’re doing).

And to seal the deal, digital recording technology is so much cheaper than the analog “equivalents” that it rarely ever makes any economic sense to record analog anymore. Lastly, almost everything that gets recorded (weather to analog tape, a computer hard drive, or with a digital tape machine) will ultimately be released in a digital form, so there really is no escaping it. Sure, there’s a bit of a resurgence in vinyl, but that’s largely a result of a backlash against the industry “loudness wars” – the way that label executives have been forcing mix and mastering engineers to over-compress the dynamic range of CD’s in order to make them “louder than the other guys’ tracks.”

Bottom Line: Good Digital Master Recording is as good or "cleaner" than Analog Master Recording. Period. In today's recording studios, even people that totally prefer the sound of analog tape might use it only to record selected elements, such as a drum kit, and when it has been recorded, they usually transfer it straight over to digital as they listen back. Why would they do that?

Michael Fremer's picture

But thanks for trying...