Time marches forward and, as such, once considered state-of-the-art technology gets 'thrown away' for newer-developed ones. Sure many audiophiles, including myself, cherish our record players yet what about the 8-track, the cassette... and the CD player? While it may be easy to dismiss the 8-track fad and few people i know still use cassettes, though reel-to-reel does have its following, the CD player appears to be finding itself with fewer enthusiasts as audiophiles find that music servers offer higher-end sound quality. It is precisely this fact that leads us to the focus within this month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine.
Our journalist Bill Gaw has been continually updating our readers about the cutting-edge in such things, while others including Scott Faller has been taking charge with the modified Slim Devices unit. Was hoping to do a full update to My Humble Abode series, yet due to Enjoy the Music.com receiving well over 1,000,000 page views and other duties in the past 30 days, a review of the new amplification employed here has been pushed back to the March edition. Still, you will note my newfound love for the Sonos system reviewed within this month's edition.
One of our readers recently e-mailed me asking about if he should have his decade-old CD player repaired, and below is our correspondence:
While my apologies do go out to the folks at Roksan, am sure even they will admit their new units perform better than the Caspian. Add to that, many audiophiles are finally discovering that homewide music servers, with control devices and the appropriate DAC, can provide offer very high sound quality and amazing ease of use. For me, it is in the ability to actually find the music i want to listen to!
Both my immense vinyl and digital disc collection are in no real order. Ok, so maybe the rock is over here, the jazz collection over there, yet when i want to enjoy a certain album or song, the hunt for the album can be a true test of fortitude! Add to that all the physical space my over 8,000 LPs and 4000 digital discs consume! For the first time in about 15 years my music collection is not located within the main listening room or the office. Instead, i happily relegated them to the basement. This is actually a good thing from a temperature and humidity point of view as New England basements keep a very constant and controlled environment that aids in preservation (and for wine storage, though that is another matter). By using the Sonos system, my review music and virtually most other albums reside on a 2TB NAS device. If i desire listening to Jascha Heifetz or Kraftwerk it is only a few clicks away. Add to that, my turntable in the main listening room can be wirelessly streamed to my bathroom as i take a shower... or the bedroom if the moment is right.
As i have seen it over a decade ago, the future is to have zero hard formats and you simply pay a monthly subscription fee for all your music. Within the January Industry News page you can read where the Isle of Man may soon be offering all the music one cares to download for a small monthly fee. Sure there are currently music services such as Rhapsody that offer such things here in the United States and elsewhere, yet at what resolution? Back in February 1997 i penned such an article titled The Future of HiFi: Future or Feature Creature?.
Bottom line is that many music lovers worldwide are 'discovering' that it is time to rip their digital disc collection to hard drive and enjoy the music in a different way than before. This is indeed progress! The next step is to eliminate the need to burn music and have it stored on hard drive, with the music service providers streaming lossless audio to your home. Another benefit, such music services could rip the music at today's 24-bit/192kHz rate, yet stream it down to you home at CD 'quality' today to save bandwidth, yet provide high-end services for audiophiles that would then become the norm as bandwidth allows.
It Goes To 11!
Below is one of the most impressive violinists of 'modern'
Yes "Long Distance Runaround" with Bill Bruford solo. Perhaps one of my favorite Bruford setups, though do wish he had more acoustic drums in the mix (i.e. King Crimson). Still, it is easy to admire a nearly fearless musician working his craft...
...and a truly fearless percussionist/drummer: Terry Bozzio.
Congratulations, you scrolled all the way down here. And here you go...
To my fellow drummers and percussionists...