I being of a certain age simply don’t get the new infatuation with vinyl.
Growing up in the 70’s, my father believed we should have one good stereo rather than each kid having their own mediocre stereo. So at the time, he bought a Technics receiver, Technics turntable and BOSE 601 speakers, and from that moment on I was hooked on music. Rocking Rush, Steely Dan, Journey, BTO, Styx and yes Nazareth in my basement got me through the turbulent teenage years. I will never forget how disappointed I was watching the Doobie Brothers live at the Spectrum in Philly and NOT hearing the booming bass in “Takin it Too The Streets,” as well as the meandering lead guitar at the end of “Listen To the Music.” I became a recording junkie. It was just so much better coming through the stereo via the turntable where there was something about holding the actual album and hearing perfection. Wasn’t big on 8 Track or cassettes. My father added a Tape Deck for his classical recordings.
Fast forward many years to the age of mp3, AAC, poorly recorded CD’s and Apple iTunes. Man, I knew this was bad and I found myself searching scary foreign websites that would allow you to download higher quality songs for pennies. Then suddenly “hi res” arrived and I discovered Tidal and Qobuz where suddenly the music was quite good. And finally figured out how to play these songs via streaming DACs etc.
Ok I am all set, I have Qobuz streaming through my Nova150, standalone DAC, Kef LS50 Metas and Kef KC62 sub. Perfection!
But wait, I keep reading about the brilliance of vinyl and that I am listening to dull, digitized garbage and real audiophiles only listen to “vinyl. OK, so I add in a Pro-Ject. Debut Carbon EVO turntable. So wife and I go out to the vintage stereo store and buy Steely Dan AJA, Supertramp, Eagles and some others. We are told all albums are in great shape, guaranteed. Let’s fire it up and what do we get? …
… garbage. Crackles, pops and dull, dull sound. Even AJA wasn’t doing much for me. OK maybe I need a nice new shiny recording produced by PS Audio. Let’s hear an album done right by the experts. I choose Augustus: Ragtime World and read on the PS Audio site that it is one great recording. OK Let’s give it a go, and what do we get?
… OK, good actually, but not great. You can tell its good but dull dull dull. I add in my Shiit Loki 4 band EQ and fire up the highs and mid highs and turn down the mid bass and it is much, much better. I can live with this. Still a few pops and stuff.
So for yucks, I jump over to Qobuz and search and happily find the exact same album recorded in CD quality, 44/16. Nice. I lose the EQ and fire it up and my goodness is this good. Quiet as can be, but man all kinds of instruments are jumping out at me, a mandolin perhaps. Is that the Who in there playing pinball wizard on Madonna? My goodness, this is a great recording and a great album. I am digging this. Understanding all the hype of the PS Audio website. I will now go back and buy the high res version that PS Audio offers.
Thus, here ends my vinyl journey.