Stephen, If I had my way I would buy the new thorens record player with its relative cartridge, change all my Cd's to vinyl, then I may have enjoyable Hi Fi, but to change to vinyl (approximatley£30 per disc) would be price restrictive, allthough I have considered doing so!.The trouble I find with cd, allthough detailed and wide ranging, it lacks compassion it lacks soul.It starts and stops with two finer an edge(instruments I mean) not rounded enough!,on my cd, "shot through the heart" by Jennifer Warnes, yes you can here the birds singing and the bass goes deep and stops and starts on a sixpence,I still think vinyl would do a better job.
I've just had a conversation about the point I made in my last post about early turntables being poor and have been reminded of a few decent ones with Garrard, Thorens TD124 etc being a case in point. I'd therefore probably withdraw or modify that comment.
The problems I have with the CD v vinyl conundrum are these:
Some of the best vinyl I ever heard was actually mastered in digital, OK 48KHz but still digital.
OK that dying away of a halls acoustic often does appear somewhat abrupt but I think is often the cause of the player rather than the media, maybe to hear a note quietly dying into the background noise is audibly more satisfying than being cut short because of no noise.
Strange as it may seem that to actually add noise to a CD recording, in the form of dither actually improves the listening experiance, but there are techical reasons why it does.
Equally so there are many techical reasons why vinyl cannot reproduce 'ear splitting' HF like a synthesizer might create, the equlisation puts pay to that. Take a listen to 'tubular bells' on vinyl and then CD, I think you will agree.
Simarly at the bottom end a magnetic cartridge produces an output proportional to 'the rate of change' of a signal rather than the basic amplitude of it so again can never reproduce much below 35Hz, whereas a CD can record and replay down to 10Hz.
Now as for the emotional enjoyment of sound, the soul and compassion, that seems to be a completely different subject, I bet many would get rather involved in the sound of an AM valve radio from the 50s, or a Dansette record player, but now we are talking 'fond memories' rather than Hi Fi, difficult to seperate the two some times.
Apologies for the rant but it is that time of day. John...
I suppose the bottom line is that music needs to hit you on the emotional level. You can have the cleanest sounding modern stereo system but unless it moves you or you just enjoy the sound it can be pretty pointless. I love clarity to but not at the expense of musicality- I suppose in the end its about balance.
My old flat mate had an old sansui integrated amp from the 70's (black with wooden sides) with boston acoustics speakers, soild as a rock warm and bubbly sound I remember listening to direstraits and songs like eagle rock - boy did I enjoy it. It didnt have the clarity of todays amps but I still remember sitting back late at night listening to the music.
May be some whacky helped the experience, just a thought. Chris I had a Thorens TD124 and it was a seriously good player, but one thing I never understood was the fine tune speed control as it's speed was based on a highly stable wien bridge oscillator but included a mains driven strobe. Err what is the point, our mains is never that precise in frequency so why compare them, maybe the strobe was there just to show all how far the mains does vary rather than the TT speed. I think the 124 was a milestone in turntables as it had all the virtues that are still expounded today, mass, damping etc. but few have such sophisticated speed control and at the time very few reel to reel tape machines had, most were simply induction motors whose speed was mains related and although many ’top end’ designs did have strobes to compare the two they were basically comparing the same thing so would always look right. The mains often varies by a couple of Hz, not a lot but to a trained musical ear noticeable. Another problem that CD players simply do not have, their speed control is precisely locked to a crystal standard, far more accurate than the mains, note the terms wow, flutter and rumble simply do not exist in CD reviews, so maybe the dislike (of CD) is simply the memory of all the distortions that we came to live with and liked from vinyl days. Just a thought.
I do like some cd players. I bought a consonance cd-120 linear which has that nice analogue smoothness and good natural timbre on instruments and the human voice sounds natural. I also like the rega apollo and the naims cd playars. Just some cd players sound a bit unnatural or produced type some for me (digital/harsh/cold etc). I still have my old marantz cd63se because it seems to be so musical. I wouldnt mind listening to your old marantz cd94.
I do still have my old record player (AR - bought second hand 25 years ago), though it now has a ortofon cartridge/needle, boron straight arm + a nice quality signal amp for it. I have a number of albums too, some good quality recordings and some bad (bit like CD' really).
John, I have tubular bells on record, tape, and CD, as well as the more recent versions. The problem with the old tubular bells album (and particular hergest ridge) was they were produced during the oil crisis in the 1970 - the qualiy is poor. The CD is much better in this case - and tubular bells II is a much much better recording altogether. Phono and CD sound different, I agree, but I bought a CD + amp recently specifically designed for live music where sound of the instruments is quite life like. The phono gives me a different sound - does it have more emotion .... hum....... not for me. But then I like the emotion of the musician, not the hifi. This is just my hifi and what I like to listen to and just my preference. Mind you, heavy rock does sound rough on this CD+amp as the quality of the records is generally rather bad and you hear the bad recording.
And I have a classic tuner too Sony d777es and the FM is way better than the DAB.
There are some wonderful classic hifi around, my mother had an old B&O amp and still has a sony real to real. These are about 40 years old when stereo was coming out, and still produces a good sound. .
I see you've gone very technical on me again, I can't argue with that because I wouldn't know what I was talking about. I have a Decca CD called The World of Offenbach, all but one of 15 pieces are recorded ADD.Picking any one in particular (Les oiseaux dans la charmile ) sung by Joan Sutherland this was recorded in 1972 on analogue. There are others recorded in 1960, 1965, 1969, 1970 and 1971, all sound incredibly lifelike and beautifully portrayed. Considering they were taken from the original analogue tapes they just sound excellent. Whereas some of the modern up to date DDD CD's (Classical) just don't sound so good. I have a mid-range Hi-Fi costing £6,000 so I think that should be good enough to relay any abdominal wind the leading cellist should pass. Any thoughts on this?
Mick, I had no intention of going technical on you again, or anyone else. Maybe I just see reproduction from the technical rather than emotional aspect and I agree that some of the best analogue recordings were 'as good as it gets' and ultimately playing an original master tape at 15 ips was outstanding but hardly practicable as a means for distributing music. But then how accurate can a vinyl player be, all the unknown resonance effects of pick up arms, turntable resonances, rumble and vibration. I really am surprised at how good it can sound.
At £6000 personally I would rate that far above ’mid-range’. Personally I would place the dividing lines more like, up to £500 average, £1000 serious, £5000 esoteric and above that a serious enthusiast.
If you can hear the leading cellist fart then your system must be doing better than the recording engineers system, or maybe you simply listen more closely to a new recording than a seasoned engineer who does it everyday.
Sorry to mislead you, I meant £6,000 for the whole system that's cd, amp and speakers. No way would I pay £6,000 for a CD Player at least not until I've won the lottery which may be next week I'm not quite sure! but it's good to read about the equipment people had or have still got from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. Reading some of Janine Elliot's postings she has an amazing array of old and new equipment, from what I've read it must have cost an absolute fortune, a true audiophile by the sound of it. Very interesting!
Oh by the way what I liked about the old stuff it was housed in wooden cabinets, amps and turntables,I remember the telly's sold in the hi fi shops back in the sixties and seventies housed in beautiful cabinets I can't remember the make but thy had the Royal Crest on them, what happened to wood? far more inert than metal, but perhaps far more exspensive due to employing a cabinet maker or maker's, just a thought.
Probably not, many of these threads seem to just die for no reason at all. Maybe simply lost interest and fashion. I remember when a beautifully crafted speaker or equipment cabinet was associated with quality, whereas now a solid non resonating structure seems to be the fashion, as does the whole look of a system. We now have a whole new look and that is spiky, enormous power amps and cables, tiny speakers on massive stands.
To me the whole industry has moved far from it's original goals and is little more than a fashion statement just like jewlery, gold and diamonds and with a price tag to match.
Your probably right John, but I would love to be able to afford some of them, fashion statement or not. Oh! and thanks for your reply, also can you remember the make of those telly's that were housed in those beautiful cabinets, they had the royal coat of arms in gold printed on them, this is late fifties early sixties.
Sorry I can't think of a make but many did have beautiful piano gloss finishes that are no longer to be seen. A few makes that may jog the memory: Ferguson, Murphy, Thorn-EMI, Bush, Granada, Philips, Rank, Crown - could be the one.
In those days not a Japanese name to be heard of, but despite all the patent protection for the PAL system they managed to sell sets here at home but all with cheap plastic cabinets.
John, not any of those mentioned jogs my memory, but remember the Ferguson's sideboard size stereo and radio players either entered from the top or front, beautifully made pieces of furniture,I have a neighbour who still has one of these in his lounge it's immaculate and still works perfectly, the trouble today it's plastic plastic plastic YUCK!!!
All the best Mick.
Ps Does anyone else have experience of above?
Also my parents had a combination record player and radio that sat on the sideboard it was a GEC general electric company, the same people who built the lightning fighter aircraft, I believe the first plane to do up to 800mph(the plane not the record player) It had a pull down front whereby the record player would slide forward and thus reveal itself (Has anyone seen one of these or know anyone who has).
Alas Mick, those were the days when reproduction was a desirable piece of furniture and was made to fit the lounge of the day, ingenuity and originality were the ’name of the game’. Now we have optimisation, get the best for the least. Look at car design, most are very similar now because that is the optimum in the price bracket, now look back at 1950/60 car designs, they were so different and individual.
I think I remember that slide out record system but no idea who made it. It seems Hi Fi has now taken centre stage with a bling look all of it’s own. Note I say ’look’ as for real sound quality, that is debatable. We now seem to have so many divergent opinions about Hi Fi that I’ve no idea what is good. 300B or class ’D’, vinyl or CD, reflex or electrostatic all seem to have a faithful following, maybe that is the interest, no convergence to ’optimal’ but more a blind faith in the past.
Having said that no one has ever suggested a return to 78 RPM recordings as being a better medium yet valves of the time are now often considered the ultimate!
John, after the demise of the G.E.C. radio and record player a floor standing Alba materialised in the front room (front room meaning best room), half the front was a woven cloth half was an opening door, I spent many an hour listening to Humphrey Littleton, Nat "King" Cole, and a few others, I was about fourteen at the time, happy days, happy days.
Oh happy days, I remember the 'radiogram' as a centre piece in the front room. A beautiful piece of furniture in it’s own right, but mono and hardly HiFi.
At about your age (14) I was experimenting with stereo, push pull amps, FM tuners and listening to far better quality than the ’radiogram’ offered, despite it’s comfortable tone, booming bass and AM radio. I always thought reproduction could be so much more. Fast forward 48 years and whilst in general reproduction has improved significantly, remember the juke box of yester year. However the dream of being immersed in a performance or replicating the sound of a venue at home is still far from reality. So what actually is missing, is it that breath from a flute or the rasp of a trumpet, the clack of a bongo, I don’t know but to me HiFi is still a comfortable dumbed down version of the real thing, maybe more to do with limiting and compression, restricted top end etc. I really don’t know but I would love to be immersed in a live gig and hear the audience all around and actually feel ’there’, I wonder how long that will take to realise.