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This was a suggestion I made some years back that was broadcast on NPR.  That they chose to transmit it on April Fool's day was their own decision.

They let the world know that the Library of Congress was migrating all its other audio material to 78s, funded by the Smolian-Giovannoni  Foundation.  The Foundation has its annual board meeting every year at the opening reception of the ARSC conference.    At present we are awaiting sufficient surplus funds to transfer the minutes to 78 but first things first.

Steve Smolian

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2016 3:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The new normal - "hits" are hard to come by, the vinyl niche continues to thrive

The solution to all of this discussion is simple.  We should be cutting an optimal digital signal into shellac records for the long term.  ☺  We don't even need a wide frequency response to carry the digital signal.

Tom, with all due respect I think your comments about liking the engineering on some LP's better than their CD or hi-def counterparts is off point.  That really has nothing to do with the format and everything to do with the human fallibility that goes into making all of these things.  If the same audio product is pressed into vinyl and put on CD or a hi-def format, the vinyl is going to lose that battle every time.  Vinyl is just a fad based more on nostalgia than anything else.  I, for one, will be glad when it passes.

Best,
John






On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 2:49 PM, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Tom is correct; 78s can't possibly have the same hi-end content as LPs 
> because of the limitation caused by speed vs. stylus size. However in 
> my own experience, I have tens of thousands of 78s stored in out door 
> units which endure the temperature extremes of South Ontario, (winter 
> lows below minus 20 degrees C.(0 degrees F.) and summer highs over 30 
> degrees C. (90 degrees F.) and beyond, without any apparent 
> deterioration over many years; however I never bring records inside 
> from deep freeze to indoor warmth, but a fellow collector, (David 
> Lennick), told me that that's even an unnecessary precaution, that he does it all the time without a problem.
>
> db
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Feb 3, 2016, at 1:54 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > 78s are quite brittle and breakable, so long-lasting only if 
> > carefully
> stored and used. And, no offense to any of the fans on list here, but 
> they are hardly high fidelity to their source. Everything from the 
> recording system (frequency-limited, essentially no top end, very high 
> noise floor, most of this caused by the cutting elements and methods 
> because Nick Bergh has demonstrated that what hit the cutterhead was 
> actually pretty high fidelity although treble-lacking, as early as the 
> early 1930s) to the release medium (commercial shellac was almost 
> always very noisy, variable from unbearably noisy to too noisy for 
> comfortable listening) were stacked against high fidelity. LPs got 
> closer, especially as the technology evolved (less distortion in the cutting chains, quieter vinyl compounds).
> >
> > As one who has had a hand in selecting content for modern LP reissue
> projects, and approved test pressings, I can say that the quality 
> level of both the cutting and pressing is very impressive. It's still 
> a craft, but I'm happy to say there are craftsmen out there, here and now.
> >
> > Because it's a luxury-priced niche, much more attention CAN be paid 
> > at
> the factory (but not always is) to matters like plating and pressing 
> quality, vinyl compounds and sleeve printing. It's not a mass medium 
> like days of yore, so it doesn't need to be manufactured to the most 
> cost-cut point to be competitive. I maintain that many buyers of 
> modern vinyl are buying a physical artifact, something consider 
> beautiful and collectable, and that is why they niche will remain 
> healthy. The mass market either wants to pay nothing for music, or 
> wants to pay very little for something that is very convenient and 
> instantaneous, which is why vinyl will always be a niche. What has 
> made me happy in the past decade or so is that the niche has emerged 
> as big enough to be viable and have some economies of scale. The fact 
> that new and refurb presses are still coming on-line, and the fact 
> that I know there is a 3-month wait to get something pressed in any 
> quantity right now, tells me the niche is very healthy and the economy 
> has room to scale up a little bit (but not overbuild). I also know that the really good cutting engineers are booked months ahead too.
> >
> > As for the usual disdain about the low-tech nature of LP records vs 
> > a
> modern digital chain, my ears tell me all I need to know. If more CDs 
> and other digital products sounded better, I'd be standing in the back 
> row, hook-horns raised, in agreement. But, alas, too many CDs, 
> especially remasters of content originally put out on LP, sound awful. 
> That's not the fault of the technology, but it is the state of the art 
> for at least those albums, since one can't buy a better-sounding 
> product except the LP. When there is a better-sounding CD or high-rez 
> digital alternative, I favor that as my listening source.
> >
> > -- Tom Fine
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Bishop" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2016 12:55 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The new normal - "hits" are hard to come by, 
> > the
> vinyl niche continues to thrive
> >
> >
> >> 78s weren't ever pure shellac, which is too brittle, there were all
> kinds
> >> of fillers in them, like later vinyl records. Many post-war 78s 
> >> were
> made
> >> with vinyl compounds. But I'm sure the best shellac discs hold up 
> >> very well.
> >>
> >> Properly-produced vinyl is a very stable medium and a cheap 
> >> material
> too. I
> >> don't know how long a record could remain an accurate document 
> >> sitting
> on a
> >> library shelf - a few hundred years, a thousand? Maybe archives 
> >> should purchase some lathes and start training people to master and cut vinyl.
> It
> >> may be a better option than digital for long-term preservation - or 
> >> at least the best physical backup available.
> >>
> >> Artists who record digitally and upload to bandcamp or soundcloud 
> >> will
> more
> >> likely than not have their music be inaccessible in a hundred 
> >> years,
> while
> >> those who produce vinyl albums or singles, whatever the aural
> shortcomings,
> >> will see theirs survive.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 12:32 PM, Frank Strauss <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Diamond Disks!
> >>>
> >>> On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:41 AM, Chris Bishop 
> >>> <[log in to unmask]>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> > Most people don't even want downloads let alone CDs. So in that 
> >>> > sense
> >>> vinyl
> >>> > is as doomed as every other physical medium.
> >>> >
> >>> > But I disagree that vinyl is a dead medium at this time. The DJ
> scene is
> >>> > stronger than ever in every genre.
> >>> >
> >>> > Records produced 50 or 60 years ago can be pulled off the shelf,
> cleaned
> >>> > and played with almost no deterioration from age. What medium is 
> >>> > more stable in average storage conditions?
> >>> >
> >>> > Chris
> >>> >
> >>> >
> >>> >
> >>> > On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:28 AM, John Haley 
> >>> > <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>> >
> >>> > > It's the old question--do you want fame or money?  Many "artists"
> of
> >>> > today
> >>> > > apparently keep their day jobs and go for fame by giving it 
> >>> > > away,
> >>> > thinking
> >>> > > fortune will follow.  Seems like it seldom does, and this has 
> >>> > > very
> >>> little
> >>> > > to do with basic talent.  It's a recipe for a lousy pop music
> world,
> >>> > which
> >>> > > to my ancient ears is just what is happening.  Meanwhile any
> third-rate
> >>> > pop
> >>> > > artist from the past can sell out a hall today.   Thank goodness
> they
> >>> are
> >>> > > there.
> >>> > >
> >>> > > As for vinyl, it's a blip and a fad.  If it gets people 
> >>> > > listening
> who
> >>> > > otherwise wouldn't be, then fine, I like it, but we who ought 
> >>> > > to
> know
> >>> > > better mustn't kid ourselves.  As a format, vinyl is a dead 
> >>> > > one,
> and it
> >>> > > deserves to be.  Of course I'm not tossing out my record
> collection,
> >>> but
> >>> > as
> >>> > > a person who restores old records in modern formats, I have no
> >>> nostalgic,
> >>> > > romantic illusions about vinyl's supposed virtues.  If people 
> >>> > > are
> happy
> >>> > > listening to it, then be happy and go for it. But as "audio people"
> >>> let's
> >>> > > not go fooling ourselves.
> >>> > >
> >>> > > Best,
> >>> > > John Haley
> >>> > >
> >>> > >
> >>> > >
> >>> > >
> >>> > >
> >>> > > On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:09 AM, Tom Fine <
> [log in to unmask]>
> >>> > > wrote:
> >>> > >
> >>> > > > Interesting stats from Nielsen:
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > >
> >>> > >
> >>> >
> >>>
> http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/22/10816404/2015-album-sales-trends-vin
> yl-catalog-streaming
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > Soundscan does not pick up the whole market, but the trends 
> >>> > > > seem
> >>> > > credible.
> >>> > > > Interesting that Adele fans are also vinyl fans in such a
> pronounced
> >>> > > way. I
> >>> > > > wonder if the back-catalog trend was just a blip because so 
> >>> > > > much
> of
> >>> it
> >>> > is
> >>> > > > now in print either as downloads or physical media, just 
> >>> > > > about
> every
> >>> > > > "golden age" audiophile favorite is not out in new-remaster
> vinyl,
> >>> and
> >>> > > what
> >>> > > > CDs are left in the pipeline are heavily discounted. But, 
> >>> > > > that
> said,
> >>> > the
> >>> > > > market to create great new music is not really there -- 
> >>> > > > artists
> make
> >>> > more
> >>> > > > just touring and releasing a song here and there via 
> >>> > > > download or
> >>> video
> >>> > > > streams. So why get in a studio and create great art? There 
> >>> > > > was
> also
> >>> an
> >>> > > > interesting interview in the latest issue of TapeOp magazine
> with the
> >>> > > > Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree. One thing they said 
> >>> > > > that
> >>> stuck
> >>> > > in
> >>> > > > my mind is that there is a penalty today for taking the time 
> >>> > > > to
> write
> >>> > > > great, meaningful lyrics. The music-buying public wants 
> >>> > > > catchy
> >>> phrases
> >>> > > and
> >>> > > > well-worn stereotype statements set to music, they want 
> >>> > > > simple
> >>> ditties,
> >>> > > and
> >>> > > > simple sells.
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > This report looks at unit sales for the first half of 2015:
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > >
> >>> > >
> >>> >
> >>>
> http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/us-album-sales-fall-4-in-first-h
> alf-of-2015-as-cd-rules-market-just/
> >>> > > > The problem that isn't documented in unit sales is that 
> >>> > > > copyright
> >>> > owners,
> >>> > > > artists and everyone else with a stake in making quality 
> >>> > > > music
> get
> >>> > > pennies
> >>> > > > on the dollar from these streaming services, and that's the 
> >>> > > > main
> >>> growth
> >>> > > > area as far as consumer uptake (yes, the vinyl niche is
> thriving, but
> >>> > > it's
> >>> > > > a tiny niche compared to overall music sales, and does not
> produce
> >>> > enough
> >>> > > > revenue to float any artist or major copyright owner). I 
> >>> > > > think
> it was
> >>> > > very
> >>> > > > foolish for the record companies to surrender to streamers 
> >>> > > > on the
> >>> > cheap.
> >>> > > > They should be charging royalties like radio, plus a 
> >>> > > > download
> fee,
> >>> and
> >>> > > the
> >>> > > > streamers should be forced into a model where everyone who
> streams
> >>> > pays a
> >>> > > > monthly fee. Most of the streaming is freebie streaming, and 
> >>> > > > that
> >>> just
> >>> > > > doesn't produce enough revenue. If I were an artists, I'd 
> >>> > > > say
> you get
> >>> > > > nothing for free streaming, and if I'm a hit-making artist 
> >>> > > > I'd
> say
> >>> you
> >>> > > get
> >>> > > > nothing without paying me regular download fees.
> >>> > > >
> >>> > > > -- Tom Fine
> >>> > > >
> >>> > >
> >>> >
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Frank B Strauss, DMD
> >>>
> >>
>