Vinyl - back to the future?

Peder posted:

I should go for an Lp12,....IF,...you have a good dealer not so long from were you live.Remember that if you shall have the best out of your LP12, you shall have it in for service every 12 month.

Also think about what you get/buy,in this days it is out so many pre-loved LP12's with third parts in it. Will you have that, or an original one?

I should go for an original one,have listen to so many with third parts in it,different....but not better. Often cleaner or/and clearer but less in musicality. And in the long run musicality winns,it's because of musicality you can listen hour after hour and wan't stop.

Many here in Sweden thinks an pre-circus is better than the newer ones if we talk musicality,it's importent that you listen for yourself.Contact a good dealer who can do different demos for you,and if you find a used one.....let your dealer check it before you buy it.....so you know what you are buying....and set it up with the right parts in it.

Lejonklou Hifi has very good MM-phonostage,you can also find this on the pre-loved market.....or you can find an old Linn LK1 pre, and only use the phonostage. It has both MM and MC and are still very,very good. You can also recapp it ( LK1),we have done that ....and I can say that it's much better after the recapp. I think ClassA do this.❗ 

Much to think about,but an LP12 is always an LP12.I see in your profile that you have had one earlier.....so you know what I'm talking about 😉.

/Peder🙂 

 

'm sorry but you're perpetuating an urban myth - a modern LP12 does NOT have to be set up every 12 months. In normal domestic conditions it should, if it has been set up correctly in the first instance, be fine after 12 months and well beyond.

kevin J Carden posted:

I have 2 dems booked for tomorrow; P6 vs RP8 and also going to try a Well Tempered Simplex. Last dems before Cymbiosis on 23rd. Then it’ll be decision time..

Great stuff Kevin - hope the dems go well and look forward to reading about your experience.

Blackmorec posted:

My story. A former Vinyl fan I owned a tricked out LP 12 on Mana Phase 5 (rubbish) , with ARO, Armageddon,  Troika etc, etc.  The thing sounded good but was a nightmare to set up properly. Swapped it all for a Well Tempered Reference with Dynavector Te Kaitora and BAT VK-10 phonestage....sounded better and far easier to set up. Then I moved countries and found I lacked the space for all the vinyl plus CDs so got rid of the TT, Phonestage and put my records into storage.  15 years later I've moved to a full digital system with local and internet streaming, and although I didn't need it, an excellent phonostage. The downsizing opened up the top shelf of my rack. I spent a long time waiting for my new system to arrive, which is always dangerous...and got to thinking about an analog set-up. Did my homework and eventually settled on a Michell Orbe SE, SME Series IV and an Ortofon Cadenza Black with Cardas phono leads.

The combination of Michell Orbe and SME is a pleasure to set up. Everything is a precisely calibrated adjustment, unlike the Linn, so suits my uber-Anal approach to hi-fi.  Having set up everything exactly and precisely, I pulled all my old Decca and EMI classical records and bought a load of my old favourite rock albums, now remastered and pressed on 180gram vinyl.

My new system arrived so I excitedly took a listen. Fantastic! Great imaging, focus, tonal integrity. As good as I ever remember vinyl. The TT, arm and cartridge synergized really well and I was delighted, although a bit let down by a few of the 180g remasters which were OK but nothing like as special as some of those old Decca and EMI recordings.

Then my new digital server arrived. Put it on its rack shelf, plugged in the PC and interconnect and we're ready to go. Left it about 30 hours before taking a listen.  Holy cow but this thing is good. Better than analog in every respect...more resolving, bigger more focused sound stage, greater musical impetus and drive, far better micro and macro dynamics, greater listener involvement, more natural sounding and above all, a lot quieter, with far blacker backgrounds, so far more revealing of low level detail. To say it killed my appetite for vinyl would be an understatement.  So last week I pulled the whole analog rig, repacked it and took it to the dealer's.

Moral of the story....save the money you'd spend on an analog system and invest it in a SOTA digital source. You won't believe how much information is on a red book CD that CDPs have simply never revealed.  The lastest digital HW and files make analog sound old; noisy stylus to vinyl interface, contamination noise, lack of dynamics and low level detail lost in the less than silent background. The ritual of taking a record out of its sleeve, clamping it to the platter, lowering the delicate stylus into the lead in groove is very memory evoking and quaintly satisfying but palls pretty quickly in the face of superior sound quality, random access to any album you care to name, dark, pristine backgrounds, huge soundstage, total listener involvement and not a single pop or crackle to ruin the illusion.  If complete immersion in music is your goal, analog replay very clearly belongs in the past and digital finally has come of age.  And this from a former 'dyed in the wool vinyl fanatic'

 

 

Hi, I am interested in trying to set up a new digital server, something I haven't done before. Would you mind sharing what yours actually is, please? Thank you, David

kevin J Carden posted:

I have 2 dems booked for tomorrow; P6 vs RP8 and also going to try a Well Tempered Simplex. Last dems before Cymbiosis on 23rd. Then it’ll be decision time..

Well Tempered crossed off the list. Its hair-shirt design flimsiness would leave me permanently in fear of writing off the cartridge at a single mis-stroke at any point and it didn’t make up for this big disadvantage by sounding very good either. Move on. 

P6/Ania vs RP8/Apheta was, to my ears, another resounding victory for P6. If the prices of the 2 turntables were reversed I’d still pick the P6. There’s something about it which is just ‘right’, even if it’s not the last word in resolution.

Overall though, I have to say that I’m going through a bit of a wobble on the whole turntable idea. Am I just going off at a tangent in reconsidering Vinyl? Should I just consign it to nostalgia? After all, it’s not exactly a cheap indulgence. Even a P6 will need an Aria phono, 2 new levels of support, cables etc and all in will cost at least £2.5k. That’s most of the way to financing a pair of SuperLumina Din/XLR’s which would notably improve my streaming experience...

Off on holiday for a week this Saturday. Some pondering to do as I lie in the Spanish Sun 

kevin J Carden posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

I have 2 dems booked for tomorrow; P6 vs RP8 and also going to try a Well Tempered Simplex. Last dems before Cymbiosis on 23rd. Then it’ll be decision time..

Well Tempered crossed off the list. Its hair-shirt design flimsiness would leave me permanently in fear of writing off the cartridge at a single mis-stroke at any point and it didn’t make up for this big disadvantage by sounding very good either. Move on. 

P6/Ania vs RP8/Apheta was, to my ears, another resounding victory for P6. If the prices of the 2 turntables were reversed I’d still pick the P6. There’s something about it which is just ‘right’, even if it’s not the last word in resolution.

Overall though, I have to say that I’m going through a bit of a wobble on the whole turntable idea. Am I just going off at a tangent in reconsidering Vinyl? Should I just consign it to nostalgia? After all, it’s not exactly a cheap indulgence. Even a P6 will need an Aria phono, 2 new levels of support, cables etc and all in will cost at least £2.5k. That’s most of the way to financing a pair of SuperLumina Din/XLR’s which would notably improve my streaming experience...

Off on holiday for a week this Saturday. Some pondering to do as I lie in the Spanish Sun 

Kevin - thanks for sharing thoughts on your first dem - and enjoy your holiday!

No experience of Well Tempered turntables but the design approach looks interesting. No dealer near here so can't take a closer look unfortunately.

The Rega P6 looks like it could be the mid point gem in their range from the reviews online - and your praise. I’m hoping to try and get to demo it alongside the Pro-Ject Carbon, P3 and RP8 next week. 

Likewise, I’m also a little shaky at the thought of the turntable outlay, for which, could be just occasional use. Although the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of listening to my old vinyl albums on a period appropriate system, rather than a less than ideal CD transfer. If it amounts to a folly then so be it!

Yetizone posted:
kevin J Carden posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

Overall though, I have to say that I’m going through a bit of a wobble on the whole turntable idea. Am I just going off at a tangent in reconsidering Vinyl? Should I just consign it to nostalgia? After all, it’s not exactly a cheap indulgence. Even a P6 will need an Aria phono, 2 new levels of support, cables etc and all in will cost at least £2.5k. That’s most of the way to financing a pair of SuperLumina Din/XLR’s which would notably improve my streaming experience...

Likewise, I’m also a little shaky at the thought of the turntable outlay, for which, could be just occasional use. Although the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of listening to my old vinyl albums on a period appropriate system, rather than a less than ideal CD transfer. If it amounts to a folly then so be it!

I have a TT for 2 years now, a lowly Project Debut Carbon having issues (however controlled issues and acceptable). Nevertheless, I do increasingly listen to vinyl. At least every evening an hour. The point of no return was for me that I met a local guy having a lot of seventies LP's in his second hand shop. I bought some and for some reason I'm now listening to music I'm completely unknown to, but I enjoy it. I searched for the same albums on Spotify etc ... I don't enjoy precisely the same music being digitally streamed.

Old vinyl, TT + simple olive setup (72/140) works brilliant for me (even when listening to inferior stuff like Bee Gees (don't tell my classical friends please)).

Personally, I would take the plunch and maybe think about a strategy to spread the 'investment'. Do one step now, a few upgrades later.

Christopher_M posted:
kevin J Carden posted:
Even a P6 will need an Aria phono

Not necessarily. I was gobsmacked at how good the Ania was into a Rega Fono MC.

I would second the positive comment about the Rega Fono MC. I'm currently running an Akurate level LP12 into the Rega Fono MC and while e.g. Linn's own Uphorik is clearly better (as it should at about 8 times the cost of the Rega), the Fono MC is an impressively good piece of kit for the money.

On returning to vinyl or not, I did it in stages (not by design but rather by indecision!), buying and selling a couple of Rega's in the process over a number of years before finally deciding to go all in on vinyl for my home office (lounge stereo is CD based). I ended up with the LP12, which I really love and have always wanted (but I do find it to be extremely expensive). I looked seriously at the P6 Neo package and I think it's huge VFM and really a sweet spot in the Rega range. That's probably where I'd start today if I was pretty convinced about getting back into vinyl; it's good enough from a SQ perspective to be fulfilling for a number of years but still not so expensive as to create a big loss if you decide later on that vinyl is not for you after all. 

So, I’m now down to Rega P6 vs a Cymbiosis LP12. Both PRaT orientated. I’m wondering if there are other approaches to Analogue that I should be trying. well Tempered didn’t work for me, but I’ve heard Nottingham work well before. Any others I should be trying? All ears ... 

kevin J Carden posted:

Thanks James. Never heard of it! Any suggestions where I can audition it ?

I thought that Cymbiosis used to stock DPS, but there doesn't seem to be any mention of it on their site; similarly, Tom Tom.

Looking at the Bauer website, there is no mention of the UK under 'International Dealers' - perhaps they no longer have a UK presence?

kevin J Carden posted:

So, I’m now down to Rega P6 vs a Cymbiosis LP12. Both PRaT orientated. I’m wondering if there are other approaches to Analogue that I should be trying. well Tempered didn’t work for me, but I’ve heard Nottingham work well before. Any others I should be trying? All ears ... 

perhaps vpi prime, acoustic signature wow xl, eat c sharp:  3 serious challengers. 

i forgot audio note tt2 also.     these four turntables are in the 2k-3k range and have very good reviews.  Nothingham analogue, kuzma stabi s are more on the romantic side.   Clearaudio performance is a bit cold and neutral.     For the money, the eat csharp is hard to beat.

The vpi prime is more expensive 

kevin J Carden posted:
.

Overall though, I have to say that I’m going through a bit of a wobble on the whole turntable idea. Am I just going off at a tangent in reconsidering Vinyl? Should I just consign it to nostalgia? After all, it’s not exactly a cheap indulgence. Even a P6 will need an Aria phono, 2 new levels of support, cables etc and all in will cost at least £2.5k. That’s most of the way to financing a pair of SuperLumina Din/XLR’s which would notably improve my streaming experience...

 

I’m with Blackmorec in considering vinyl to be inferior to where digital now is in terms of sound quality. There are so many more limiting compromises with the way sound is recorded on and retrieved from vinyl, before even considering wear and risk of damage. And with music originally recorded in digital, or where an amplification stage in the replay system digitises the signal and later reconverts to analog (as in some recent Linn and Naim products) even the purist argument about music being analog ceases to apply. 

Some people refuse to accept this, or get some other emotional enjoyment from playing vinyl, and maybe you would as well, but deciding to go into it in a serious way rather than just as a current fashion does mean committing serious resources, so you do need to be sure it delivers what you want.

Hi Innocent,

I don’t know about “refuse to accept”. My Akurate...ish LP12 can underwhelm with poor pressings (and I have a particular aversion to off-centre pressings), but it outperforms my NDS/555 on a regular basis. It recently received a Lingo 4, in place of an Armageddon, and I’m doing the old “record collection rediscovery” thing all over again.

A big part of it is the greater dynamic range you tend to get with LPs. They are generally spared the loud digital mastering. For example, Radiohead records are a revelation and the recent vinyl Deadwing (Porcupine Tree) is a thing of wonder. 

Im sure Chord Dave is very good, but until they invent a DAC that restores DR “on the fly” I will keep a foot in both camps.

Keith

KRM posted:

Hi Innocent,

I don’t know about “refuse to accept”. My Akurate...ish LP12 can underwhelm with poor pressings (and I have a particular aversion to off-centre pressings), but it outperforms my NDS/555 on a regular basis. It recently received a Lingo 4, in place of an Armageddon, and I’m doing the old “record collection rediscovery” thing all over again.

A big part of it is the greater dynamic range you tend to get with LPs. They are generally spared the loud digital mastering. For example, Radiohead records are a revelation and the recent vinyl Deadwing (Porcupine Tree) is a thing of wonder. 

Im sure Chord Dave is very good, but until they invent a DAC that restores DR “on the fly” I will keep a foot in both camps.

Keith

Of course a lot depends on the recording/ mastering. In terms of dynamic range, CD is capable of a wider range than is vinyl, but if compressed when recorded/mastered then that obviously  destroys it. Interesting that you suggest that even relatively recent, digitally recorded, music may be mastered to have a more compressed dynamic range on CD - that is crazy, and something of which I was unaware. I assumed that the so-called “loudness war”only applied to modern pop and that it would be applied to all media. I wonder if the hi res versions, if available, are uncompressed, given that they are not aimed at the bulk market.

There is a bit of a myth about compression and dynamic range in mastering... theire is almost always a full dynamic range within compressed music, however with compression  it’s the average energy levels that are raised, and sometimes significantly raised, of elements within and of the whole mix so the end result sounds punchier and louder. If all the dynamic range was removed or hugely removed for all the sounds it would sound almost unintelligible and strange...

if think if there is a very noticeable difference in range between your phono and digital source, I would suspect reconstruction filters to be causing most of this apparent discrepancy. Remember the  RIAA contour gain response of phono preamp has to do a fair bit of companding (opposite of compression) at different frequencies to compensate for the dynamic range limitation of LPs... and errors here could overly expand the sound for lower frequencies etc (and of course the other way a disc could sound a little thin)... I suspect many people like this dynamic range ‘distortion’ and perhaps one of the reasons that vinyl attracts.. I often like this effect of this error with vinyl audio reproduction.

KRM posted:

 

A big part of it is the greater dynamic range you tend to get with LPs.

If that is the case then it can only be due to the choices of whoever produced the digital files.  It is impossible for vinyl to have a greater dynamic range than digital is capable of.  Unfortunately it is rather common for digital to have the volume cranked up to the max, and normalised so that all the quiet bits are loud.  That is not, of course, anything to do with the technology.  Vinyl has a limited dynamic range.  Sound engineers choosing not to use the (much) greater dynamic range available to them is not inevitable, but is rather sad.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

There is a bit of a myth about compression and dynamic range in mastering... theire is almost always a full dynamic range within compressed music, however with compression  it’s the average energy levels that are raised, and sometimes significantly raised, of elements within and of the whole mix so the end result sounds punchier and louder. If all the dynamic range was removed or hugely removed for all the sounds it would sound almost unintelligible and strange...

if think if there is a very noticeable difference in range between your phono and digital source, I would suspect reconstruction filters to be causing most of this apparent discrepancy. Remember the  RIAA contour gain response of phono preamp has to do a fair bit of companding (opposite of compression) at different frequencies to compensate for the dynamic range limitation of LPs... and errors here could overly expand the sound for lower frequencies etc (and of course the other way a disc could sound a little thin)... I suspect many people like this dynamic range ‘distortion’ and perhaps one of the reasons that vinyl attracts.. I often like this effect of this error with vinyl audio reproduction.

I think the point made by KRM was that there has been a tendency in recent years to over-compress music when mastered for release (he suggests only for digital/CD) so that the average sound level is higher, rather than no dynamic range - th so-called ‘loudness war’, whereby apparently louder things sell better to the masses, or something (I don’t pretend to know or understand why).

Exactly. Digital files are generally mastered with lower dynamic range than viny, even though digital has greater dynamic potential. 

Check out the DR Database website. Not all digital files are mastered this way - Pink Floyd is fine - but many are. 

Dynamic compression isn’t inherently bad and a high DR doesn’t necessarily mean great sound, but higher DR is a good reason for choosing vinyl.

Keith, interesting, I have certainly heard the opposite from some in the business, due to issues with cross groove modulation, especially when there is a strong bass line  etc.... but I guess there are always exceptions... and perhaps some music that is mastered  to have a very high level average power level aren’t released on vinyl.

The DR database I have a slight issue with as it appears to look solely at the aggregate envelope DR, as opposed to dynamic range of sound within the mix at certain frequencies...  and when one compresses and masters one tend to very much address the latter. I have been relearning how to master using compression recently and it certainly not all about compressing or flattening the aggregate envelope.. that would sound awful and if there was a bass or drum line it would be probably be sapped away and be lifeless.. you wouldn’t sell many tracks..

Hi Keith, yes I have that book, it’s an interesting history of music production and distribution, albeit a bit US centric.. not much, if I remember correctly, about Joe Meek, a great British pioneer of many of the original  popular music production and compression techniques  ... but learning techniques for compression using modern tools is to me something quite different..

I also recommend, ‘Joe Meek’s Bold Techniques’ by Barry Cleveland.... fascinating... and who says music production is not creative art..... 

I thought  is that the issue with deliberately compressed dynamic range is a fairly recent phenomenon  - and if I heard correctly there is a backlash against it. I thought primarily this affected mainstream pop, or labels associated therewith, and certainly there are lots of CDs with great dynamic range, with quiet parts of the music very quiet and not disappearing into the noise floor as can happen with vinyl., 

Deliberately compressing the dynamic range purely to make average level higher for some marketing advantage is totally reprehensible, but fits with the modern disregard for sound quality. But it is nothing to do with the medium, just the behaviour of crappy non-musical  marketing *******s. (insert your own choice of descriptive noun.)

KRM posted:

Hi Innocent,

I don’t know about “refuse to accept”. My Akurate...ish LP12 can underwhelm with poor pressings (and I have a particular aversion to off-centre pressings), but it outperforms my NDS/555 on a regular basis. It recently received a Lingo 4, in place of an Armageddon, and I’m doing the old “record collection rediscovery” thing all over again.

A big part of it is the greater dynamic range you tend to get with LPs. They are generally spared the loud digital mastering. For example, Radiohead records are a revelation and the recent vinyl Deadwing (Porcupine Tree) is a thing of wonder. 

Im sure Chord Dave is very good, but until they invent a DAC that restores DR “on the fly” I will keep a foot in both camps.

Keith

100% agree !

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