Vinyl’s Ongoing Legacy

Mobile Fidelity Shawn Britton
About ten years ago I reported to my father, veteran record producer and industry specialist Peter Hopper, that vinyl records were coming back, to which he famously replied, “Son, they never went anywhere.”

And boy am I glad they didn’t. Just today I was moving some of my collection here to my office, when my father forwarded me a piece by USA Today on a studio out of California that is still licensing and making “records” the “old fashioned way.”

If you already understand why vinyl sounds so much better than MP3s and CDs, you’ll appreciate this piece (and the quirky man behind it all); if you don’t, then you’re about to get an education.

I’m excited for the grand opening of Sprig Records later this year, and our use of a prized Studer Mk. IV, 24-track, 2″ tape machine, which I personally plan to record with in the hopes of turning those masters into vinyl records for my family, friends, and maybe even some fans.

So here’s to all the audiophiles out there. Get groovy, baby.

ch:

phill keaggy emerging ted sandquist courts of the king peter hopper
[Two of the records I moved to my office today, both with my father’s imprint on their production.]

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  • Daddy H

    Neat post! As John Lennon famously sang; “I love to watch the wheels go round and round” ,bespecially on our extra special Über Studer A -80 Mk.4 2″x24; and whistfully, the sound and smell of both the analogue magnetic tape and the Langevin Head cutting lathe acetate sprue… Memories, soon to be hopefully re lived! Thank you!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Yes, yes, yes! Ahhhhh….[runs over to smell some tape].

  • matt harris

    CH
    I guess I’m old because i still have my family’s vinyl collection. Including the Emerging record in your photo! :-)

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Ha – that’s awesome! Spin away, my friend, spin away.

  • Jamie

    Lol, I was just looking at a stack of old records I have the other day. I used to collect Beatles records and have a bunch! J

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      They’re definitely collectors items now, ma’ man. Hang on to ‘em!

  • http://christiandfahey.wordpress.com/ Christian Fahey

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!! Music to my analog ears (PTP). This is a very good thing. And excited to hear you and others will be giving the Studer a workout. Noteworthy that a lot of musicians still prefer to record to tape (Slash comes to mind immediately) and then move to digital for obvious reasons. Great post (and great albums produced by one of music’s finest in your pic)!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      I know that the Foo Fighters just did their latest work entirely analog. All tape, analog board. Their drummer is on film complaining how hard it is to hear himself play without being quantized in Pro Tools. What you hear play is what you get!

      Thanks for the kind props to my father. I believe you have some master tapes floating around somewhere, too… ;)

  • http://www.enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com Wayne Thomas Batson

    Does vinyl really *really* sound better, or is it just the nostalgic value that makes it “feel” better? I had piles of lps and 45s. Kids, those are little records like cds but with a hole in the middle. But I have to admit, I think digital sound really does sound better. Plus no scratches. lol

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      I love your caveat to the kids. Nice!

      Yes, actually it does sound better form both a measured, technical perspective and from a user-preferred stance. The best test is to have an audiophile friend A/B a CD version of a recording and a vinyl version of the same recording on the same stereo system, no EQ or effects. Most notable to even the novice listener is the immediate “fatness” of the lows and low-mids (80-500 hz), as well as a general “warming” of all frequencies (eliminating what we refer to as “digital hash”).

  • Jason Clement

    We listened to vinyl this year (while Christmas decorating) on an old record player that Trisha’s father bought in Vietnam as a Marine. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Jim Nabors Christmas album but I enjoyed most of the others… LOL

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Jim Nabors? Come on! #classic

  • http://Paulmitro.com Paul Mitro

    Your father recorded Phil Keaggy?!? So Jealous!!!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Yeah man! Thought you knew that! :)

  • AnneMarie

    Juliette had my 19 year old nephew’s name for Christmas. What did he want? Vinyl records! (of classic rock) We got him Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon.
    Wish I had held onto more of mine.
    Out in L.A. we had a store down the road called Licorice Pizza…I thought that was brilliant (once someone explained to me what they sold!)

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Ha! Love it! Great stuff, AM. And I think I’m probably pretty accurate in assuming you’re now your Nephew’s newest, favorite Aunt.

  • AnneMarie

    Well, I was for about 15 minutes. My audiophile brother, Denis (and avid Beatles-phile), decided to “pass on” a huge portion of his meticulously-kept Beatles vinyl LP’s collection on to this same nephew and his brother (both musicians). He actually had my brother, their dad’s, name for Christmas but decided to give the gift to him “by proxy” to his sons. Boy, was I ever upstaged! The entire room fell into stunned silence as the boys pulled out LP after LP of classics.
    Last time we had this nephew’s name for Christmas we got him a framed portrait of Jimi Hendrix. I think you’d like him.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Okay, now he’s MY favorite uncle too. No offense.