Cassette vs LP

Sun, 26/03/2017 - 05:27

Hey guys, so after a while of collecting metal in all of its musical forms, I've developed a love of Analog tape and vinyl record. Only problem is, I don't know which path to choose, because I feel like buying both record and cassette for all the music I listen to is a bit of a waste. I like buying vinyl because often you get more than what you pay for with posters, slips and other stuff, but there's just something about cassettes. Cassette or vinyl, what do you guys think?

Fimbulvintr's picture

Having had my fair share of experience with both, at the end of the day I've got to recommend vinyl for both the reasons you mentioned and for the fact that it is simply easier to come across the lp as opposed to the cassette when looking for albums. Despite mainly getting cd's nowdays, I've personally fallen in love with the way vinyls age, getting a sort of (for lack of a better word) personality after every spin. Without trying to sound like your stereotypical vinyl-or-death metalhead, vinyl is the way to go

kimo's picture

Yeah I'd say vinyl as well. I always found that after a lot of playing, cassettes always started playing up, slowing down, squeaking which the heads would sometimes pick up and pump through the speakers.

Another reason for vinyl is the packaging. Nothing beats holding a lp cover in your hand with great artwork and being able to see all the detail.
One of the main reasons I hate cd's is because of how small the artwork is........and also because they have no soul. Whilst vinyl and cassette do both have soul, my pick will always be vinyl.

Nater90's picture

I have CDs,Cassettes, and Vinyl....But vinyl out of the two you mentioned.

Claudandus's picture

I usually lean towards vinyl. But cassettes is a pretty neat thing as well. They're usually pretty cheap and I've discovered a lot of bands by getting some extra cassettes in the "Less than 5€" bracket when buying on discogs. If they suck, some idiot will always trade you for a beer, a patch, some food or whatever. ;D

When it comes to longevity however I thing vinyl is the way to go. Provided you take good care of them of course.

DoctorDeath's picture

collect everything you can get your hands on

NocturnalOccultist's picture

I dont own any vinyl but have experienced cassettes

I choose Cassettes over CDs anyday

metalmaciejmetal's picture

Is cassette even an option anymore? I simply don't get it. May I ask how old you are? Have you been around when cassettes were a valid format?

I used to buy cassettes and man so many things that suck about them, sound was crap, tapes got shredded in my Walkman, album art was small and in a rectangular form, you had to rewind and fast forward to get to certain songs. It was such a thrill when I finally switched to CDs.

It seems to me that cassettes were a place holder between LP and CD. Quality sucked but you could at least listen to a tape in your car or in a portable player.

Well, I guess I just have bad memories.... But if you want to collect a cassette of a favourite band just to have it, that's excellent, but I can't believe you would buy it to actually listen to. Between the two of course LP is superior.

Greaserjlg's picture

haha I'm 18, cassettes were dead for the most part when I was growing up, but with new bands releasing their music on both lp and cassette ive picked up cassettes along the way. They are a hassle, but I like that crackle sound you sometimes get when the tapes broken in like the fuzzy sound on an old record.

satan's radish's picture

Why does there need to be a "path" for collector scum nerds? I collect every format, personally. I have editions of albums across multiple formats. Sometimes duplicates of the same format. Why? Because I'm a disgusting nerd with a fetish for plastic crap. Also, tapes are great. Literally the only format I have used consistently throughout my entire music recording/collecting/buying existence (I'm in my late 20's, FWIW). The format never fucking died as far as I'm concerned, and I don't consider it "novel" or "nostalgic", just cheap and viable. If it ain't broke, don't fucking fix it.

But new tapes these days are crap. The tape formulations are garbage. New cassette releases are effectively novelties because there are no quality blank tape manufacturers left. And that's not even taking into account the condition of most older tape decks (new ones are all junk, since there's no substantial market for even quality, ultra-expensive boutique tape decks like there is for turntables). Pretty much any decent old deck is going to require extensive servicing if you want to get the most out of the format and not cause partial erasure to your tapes. A lot of people have low expectations of the cassette format, and therefore have low standards for what "good" tape deck conditions means, what good deck maintenance involves, and what good cassette audio sounds like. But it's a lot more complicated than it's made out to be.

If you're interested in collecting for the love of the music/"scene culture", then none of this should matter (apart from getting the most out of any format for your own personal enjoyment). But, if you're only interested in an "investment" (gross), vinyl is the way to go.

Greaserjlg's picture

Only reason I'm interested in a certain path is due to monetary limitations. If I'm buying bands new music on both cassette and lp that is a lot of money considering most new records cost 15.00$ at the least and new cassettes cost 7.00$ minimum. Also, I definitely agree with your points on tape decks and finding quality tapes these days, it really is a pain in the ass.

Metal Panther 54's picture

@satan's radish I love you comment about having a fetish for plastic crap. I am the same way, if I see it on a different format I grab the damn thing. I honestly agree with everything you say, I have my tapes right before my CDs and just something about having them next to each other just looks cool to me.

Greaserjlg's picture

Thanks for the input guys, I'm still going to try to collect everything I can get my hands on like Doc recommended, but I think for new music LP is the way to go.

nexnetherealm's picture

LPs for sure. Easier to come across than cassettes in most cases. I love them both as well. There's something about cassettes when you pop 'em in the player though

giallorossi's picture

I'm a diehard cassette fiend. I kept buying them until they stopped releasing albums here in Australia. I have vinyl as well but cassette is my first love. They were handy to carry around and listen to anywhere. I'm trying to fill gaps in my collection since finding out that they kept making albums in that format in Asia and Eastern Europe.

xZANx's picture

i personallly buy tapes when there's no other option or is a grindcore demo,tape are great but they artwork is too little and often stretched in front cover,i have napalm death from enslavement to ... obviously no lyrics of photos and that bothers me a bit,but on the other hand i have some underground releases which have made the proper graphical work on the tape and it looks killer,is just a matter of sickness i think

sandmanforce's picture

Vinyl is better than tapes! Cassette is breakable so that is no question: vinyl!

giallorossi's picture

Vinyl is unbreakable? :)

satan's radish's picture

Everything is breakable. And vinyl in particular is an incredibly damage/degradation-prone format unless you're ridiculously OCD about how you care for it. Cassettes are really a lot less likely to fuck up (aside from partial erasure due to bad storing/deck conditions). Tapes get eaten because idiots are too lazy to keep their decks clean, which causes all kinds of mechanical problems that lead to tapes getting eaten. Simply cleaning the pinch rollers so they can pull the tape properly will go a long way in avoiding that kind of mishap.

JackDeRipper168's picture

How can this be a discussion?
Vinyl sounds better, lasts longer and looks better.

Rotten's picture

I buy both as well as CDs ... I have bands where i have all of their music on all 3 formats. No idea why, i just gotta have it if i see it. And yes, I listen to all 3 formats - just depends on what my mood feel like when i want to listen to something.

Into Glory Ride's picture

My order is Vinyl --> Tape --> CD

Demos always on tape, everything else on Vinyl if possible. I do not like albums on Tape though.

Metaldemon's picture

I always bought the LP and then the cassette or visa versa a lot of us back in the 80s liked the artwork on the covers of an LP. and usually the cassette would wind up getting trashed anyway and it was easier than fuck to get another one. But an LP was a special purchase I would always go for the LP.

Daniel Sodomaniac's picture

MC is a horrible format pure crap in fact hahaha, but i still have my tapes.
Also but some from time to time but i prefer vinyl or cd in no specific order.

Into Glory Ride's picture

Haha, from an objective perspective provably, but i just absolutely love tapes!!
Got around 200 or so and still buy them very often.
Also they are the perfect tempter when placing orders
"Ah come on, another tape won't hurt, it is not that expensive!" , hahaha

Metaldemon's picture

I shit canned all of my cassettes I wouldn't have givin a crap about them I changed them all into CDs I remember when everybody shit canned there 8-tracks tapes to Cassettes. Lol! I kept all my LPs though .

andermatten's picture

you can always copy the lp onto cassette, but never the cassette onto vinyl (well not me anyway)

calebheney223's picture

LP, by far, audio quality is just so more raw, and better in my opinion, also you usually don't need speakers for a lot of record players

Der Todesking's picture

What? You don’t need speakers? Where else does the sound come from?

Corvus Corax's picture

I think both have their merits. I usually have the same album in multiple formats, if I really dig the band and the album.

Dedcalm's picture

Vinyl. Always,

JJS666's picture

Vinyl sounds way better , plus its larger and u get a bigger picture but collect anything and everything on your favorite bands.

D_Stoertebeker's picture

I'd say vinyl over cassette, because you can always copy the music from vinyl to cassette. It's difficult the other way 'round. And they are larger, so the cover art comes across better.

Ravishing Grimness's picture

Vinyl above tape anyday.Like mentioned before on the subject,cassettes are laid to waste after a couple of spins.its the irony i guess

Vulverine's picture

-I- The Minidisc ! -l-

satan's radish's picture

Picocassettes or nothing.

jaegermeister67's picture

The problem with vinyl it became a big trend (in north East part of France) And everybody want them so the price are gonig to be much to expensive for normal stuff around 20€ fo a re issue LP!!!
That's crazy in this time cd cost about 10€
My favourite are tape/cassette but very hard to find evreybody almost waste them. The price are Alright between 5 to 10€.
But it's clear that a collection stuff because most of them are very used and play mot well anymore
SO in conclusion for me CD+Tape

MorbidTales7's picture

This is how I look at it and it's very simple.
Analog > Digital
To answer your question I would go with Vinyl
and if that's not available or too expensive go with cassette!
If you take care of your tech your tapes should last

Der Todesking's picture

If you have your favorite album only on tape, & you listen to it every day (well... almost) the tape soon will show signs of usage, the sound just won’t be as good anymore. Imo vinyl is a lot more lasting, The listening experience is better! But that’s only my opinion. I have some tapes too (mainly old demo tapes) but I don’t listen to them very often, imo cassettes are more like a collectors thing!

andermatten's picture

rewinding & ff are horrible with cassettes.

Fukkunt's picture

another silly thread about what you should buy.

Vinyl is the better format. When it was relevant i was taught to buy the Vinyl and record to tape. store the record, play the tape.

when the tape has been thrashed to death. buy another blank tape and you have a clean copy of the superior format ready to make another copy...

its 2017. monetary limitations? listen to it online.

lifewillneverlast's picture

never got the hype on collecting tapes. each to their own i guess. i prefer to collect vinyl if it's possible.

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