The long desire to grasp the proverbial brass ring... Here we are in the last half of 2004 and we still find ourselves praising the joys of music on vinyl. Yes, those old black round things may of began or journey of musical bliss. With computer power -- and the companion digital to analog converter -- growing ever more sophisticated, many audiophiles are happily spinning wax. Has fancy numbers like 24-bit/192kHz led us astray or proprietary formats with abbreviated names such as SACD? Some people find themselves enjoying music on iPods and with the compressed mp3 formats, yet analog has a quality no digital format may approach.
This issue of the Enjoy the Music.com™ Review Magazine celebrates the joys of vinyl. Perhaps not at the stratosphere pricing of $10,000 cartridges and $20,000 turntable, but at a saner pricing. What is truly amazing is how a relatively inexpensive analog rig can effortlessly deliver the goods. i would bet that today there are thousands of music lovers struggling with the digital gear, yet a simple turntable, good cartridge, and inexpensive phonostage can yield amazing results far exceeding the digital alternative.
But you may be saying vinyl is such a hassle. You know, storing those big discs, having to clean them, and dare we mention the odd pop or click. The naysayer will proclaim the perfection of digital. Just look at those measurements! If measurements were King then virtually all CD players from days gone by would sound the same, yet any seasoned audiophile knows otherwise.
Then you have the choice of music. Go to your local store and try to find a vast selection of vinyl. Odds are you would be left out in the cold. Then again the same store, if you are lucky, might have less than 200 different 'high resolution digital' discs. Of course we have the Internet. Shopping via the web allows for an open, world marketplace unlike that experienced only a decade ago! So if you want to find software, you'd be hard pressed to find a few thousand of those higher digital formats while vinyl numbers in the hundreds of thousands.
But forget the measurements. Forget the availability of software. What really matter is...
It's The Music Stupid!
Listen. That's all i ask. Just sit back and listen. For me, enjoying music on vinyl is a much more relaxing, natural feeling. This is not to say digital is annoying. Within the right system digital can sound downright good. Better than good, great... but it is not analog. Again i ask you to listen. Forget any preconceived notion, any bias, or what others (including myself) say to you. Listen.
As a classically trained musician myself, and with many musicians on our staff, it is no wonder we have such a high regard to analog. Fact is many recording studios cherish their analog recording gear, as a mother loves her child. Digital, on the other hand, is just there. You know, the stuff you upgrade a lot and gets quirky every now and then, but it works. Wish all due apologies, but i do not want a music reproduction system that simply works. i desire one that inspires! Do you just exist with music in your sound room or are you living it?
Make You Own Path
If there is one thing we could say about pirates during their glory days, it is that they lived life on their own terms. They need not follow others like sheep to slaughter. They were rulers of their own domain. Are you the leader or the follower? Do you just follow the marketing hype, or are you truly listening to that inner voice? Have you allowed yourself to be led astray, or do you let your ears be your guide? Reviews are nice, they give you some ideas and, perhaps, help you diversify and improve your music reproduction system. But in the end the reviewer is not listening to your system. The marketing people touting the latest and greatest digital system are not giving their wares away for free. And no, it matters not what type of abbreviation the format goes by. Because when all is said and done, when it is time for bliss, when you just want to allow your soul to be gently washed with song... In the end what really matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music (Styx "Pieces Of Eight" on Nautilus vinyl right now),
"It's six o'clock
It's six o'clock it's quitting time I'm done for the day
Pieces of eight