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> Flogging Molly - Float, Listener Album Review - LP Vinyl Version
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Patriot1776 
Posted: 09-Sep-2008, 08:25 PM
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Now, I do not have the CD version of this album, but I have to be honest. The LP version of this album is a little lacking for one main reason: loudness.

I'm a vinyl enthusiast, and have several old vinyl records that were issued in the 60's, 70's, and 80's, and they had music on them in some cases even heavier than 'Float's fare and they were much, much louder. I can confirm this, as when transferring this album to computer for converting of the tracks to MP3's, I monitored the signal level and the signal level off the LP version of 'Float' was decidedly lower than other LP records. I could safely amplify the music in Audacity some after transfer before saving in MP3.

That said, the album is very, very good otherwise. The playing's good, the musicianship is fine. My only complaint about the music itself is that the lyrics are 'buried in the mix' to a degree, making it hard to understand the words at times.

My final verdict is that while a good album, this LP could be much, much improved by increasing the loudness levels. Now I'm well aware of the problems of trying to make vinyl records too loud, but in the past there were records cut with stuff heavier than this effort by Flogging Molly, and they are much louder without compromising playing time.


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Patriot1776 
Posted: 16-Sep-2008, 09:36 AM
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I'm hoping I don't get penalized for double-posting, so I waited a week on saying this. Moderators just tell me if double-posting is not allowed, period, no matter how long its been since no reply to a post.

I've got some more thoughts on the LP version of this album.

Has anybody played the CD version of this album on a hi-fi, high end stereo system with very, very good speakers? If anybody has, I'm wondering how much bass there was in comparison to the mids and highs on the CD.

I ask this because on the LP version, it seems to me the sound levels between the lows, mids, and highs were unbalanced on this record because while I was having to really crank the volume on the stereo to hear the music good, I was also at the same time really having to roll=off the bass level on the receiver to keep from getting 'rumble feedback' in the turntable since I have the turntable itself sitting on a sturdy table that however is next to one of my speakers.

Here is my stereo setup: Hi-fi Setup

Anyway, I'm starting to think that more the mixing was unbalanced for the LP version of this record and so I'd like to get some commentary from somebody who has a similar setup like this and has instead the CD version of this album.

What makes me think more that the mixing was unbalanced is that they were still able to fit 18 minutes worth of music on Side A of the record and almost 22 minutes of music on Side B. Side A is of typical playing time to shoot for if you want to get the best combination of playing volume and playing side length. Side B is pushing the limit a little, requiring a small drop in playing volume to get an extra 4 minutes of playing time out of the side.

However, some of my older records, most notably the two fine-condition Led Zeppelin LP's I have, both run 20+ minutes on both sides and absolutely blow away the Flogging Molly LP in overall playing volume. There's not as much bass in them, but the mixing is much balanced and the mids and highs are much louder, so you do not have to excessively raise the volume on the receiver to hear them, and the bass is more equal and better sounding.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 16-Sep-2008, 07:05 PM
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That is a bit too close to the speaker. Might suggest moving the table back a bit. It'll make the turntable harder to get to, but might be worth it. I've got the system for the comparison but I don't have that CD to be able to tell you if it might be production issues or not. I do know that while more and more artists are once again releasing on vinyl, they aren't always paying as close of attention to getting a good quality release. The vinyl is more of an afterthought done more as a quick nod. This is still better than I tend to expect, but I'd be surprised if we regularly saw the quality in vinyl that was produced in the 60's and 70's just yet. The Nightwish albums I've got are pretty good but I'd say that's more the exception than the rule right now. It'll get better as things ramp back up though. I've seen improvements already within the last few years. With any luck maybe we'll even see recordings BETTER than the 70's if this keeps up! Personally, I want to see stereo 78's made using the technology found in your average 33 1/3 or 45. or true discrete 4 channel with 2 parallel grooves per side would be fun too! (2 styli on one tone arm?) Sure you'd half your play time and need a special turntable to play it, but it'd be one heck of a fun format, and would probably still be great for something the EPs that pass as a 'single' these days


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Patriot1776 
Posted: 17-Sep-2008, 06:35 AM
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I agree with you on the production quality. The Flogging Molly LP is the THIRD totally new, re-press LP I've bought, the other two being a new-press 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica as well as a new-press of 'Abbey Road'. Now this turntable might not be the best, as its an ION TTUSB05, but the 'Master' LP is already skipping two times at the beginning of Side 2, in 'Disposable Heroes', and I've been very very careful with it, giving it the same careful handling that I've been giving to the Zeppelin LPs and the 30th Anniversary Pink Floyd 'Dark Side' 180g LP that I got a steal on.

The 'Master' LP, on side 2, I can tell the side 2 stamper was off-center just a smidgen when my particular copy was pressed, as when playing side 2 you can visibly see the tonearm moving back and forth some throughout the side as the needle follows the off-centered grooves, and quite possibly the outermost grooves suffered a little bit of weakness or something else happened to them to start skipping already after just a few plays.

I've been asking friends and family around me that for a birthday/Christmas present this year, I want to have an Audio-Technica AT-PL120 turntable as the big gift. This turntable is one that's built like the legendary Technics SL-1200 series turntables that DJ's and turntablists use, but has a less-expensive to produce outer shell and not as much metal in the cosmetic parts. The platter however is still cast-aluminum, and the tone-arm assembly is all metal too, besides the whole thing being built with a lot of weight, 12 kg or so in it. That will probably help out significantly with the 'rumble feedback', and I'm wondering if maybe it'll be much better able to tolerate these early new-press records that have minor production problems.

Oh yes, new 78s made with the .001 inch 'microgrooves' would be absolutely awesome. The thing I think would be the biggest benefit is that since the grooves would be spread out more, you could maybe put even more bass on them than a 33 1/3 LP before you run into cross-cutting issues on the cutting lathe. Dance DJ's would love that. I can see 'microgroove' 78s being made available as a special ultra-high fidelity singles format for 'platinum'-level songs by artists, a way for artists to have a very, very special 'thank you' to fans who made that particular song into a platinum-seller.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 17-Sep-2008, 08:50 PM
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That certainly is another way that 78's could help, although I was thinking it would help mostly in the high end. The higher frequency grooves tend to have less material to keep them from getting worn, but with a faster speed, the same frequency information would cover more space and therefore have more material available to re-enforce the groove and keep it from getting worn. That would also open up the ability to make use of the even higher frequencies that couldn't even be represented reliably on the slower speed discs.

Also, I was thinking on the way home today, one thing I'm not sure of with the discrete quad idea I mentioned above is crosstalk between front and rear channels within the tonearm and carriage assembly. After all, really what is amplified is the vibration of the stylus, which will travel if allowed. I don't know how much of an issue this would be, but I could see the vibration from one stylus influencing the mounting for the other one if they are both on the same carriage, which could cause issues. I'm not sure how much of an issue this would be. it might not happen, or it might be just a matter of a sponge pad to isolate them... or it could carry through the entire tone arm and require two separate tone arm assemblies to read it well. Maybe even have 4 separate grooves on a 12" single in 7.1 analog surround! dribble.gif biggrin.gifj-->dj.gif
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Patriot1776 
Posted: 19-Sep-2008, 03:55 PM
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I take back what I said in most of the first post. I today received from the parents their vintage, hi-end turntable from about 1982 or 1983. Here's a pic of 'Float' playing on it:

'Float' on new table

Turntable is a Pioneer PL-730 direct-drive, fully-automatic one with a Shure V15RS cartridge and stylus. Playing the record on this setup completely nullified a lot of what I had to say in the first post of this thread, except for the part about the vocals being buried in the mix in places.

What have I learned from this? The main thing is that I've now seen for myself that when it comes to vinyl, you first and foremost need a very, very good turntable. I'm never buying el-cheapo turntables ever again.

This is also a bit of advice to others who want to get into vinyl. Don't go and buy the entry-level turntables. Buy a very, very good one or find a very, very good vintage one instead and learn from others how to adjust it and set it up so you can save your money in the long run.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 19-Sep-2008, 08:58 PM
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Indeed, the turntables from the 1970's are probably going to be about the best out there. Really, that's still the peak in mainstream audio quality. What I'd like to do now is spend a few thousand on a good tube setup and separate my digital and analog sources to separate systems. A pair of Jolida Musical Envoy monoblocks would be so sweet!! smile.gif set it up right along side my current gear, with the turntable, tape deck, and 8 track going to the tube stereo, and everything else going to the solid state surround. Maybe have the DVD player's analog front channels switchable and the computer's analog out to the tubes, digital out to solid state.

That Flogging Molly on the turntable just looks cool! Props to the pic, my friend
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