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Thread: Why is my turntable making me happy?

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

    Thumbs up Why is my turntable making me happy?

    As a musician, I love buying guitars. I started saving money for my latest purchase, and then just as I was ready to pull the trigger and buy that gorgeous Telecaster, some tiny but persistent voice in my head mentioned the word: "Turntable!"

    Now, I've given up on analog music reproduction long time ago. There are many reasons why analog is tedious, while digital is ultra convenient. As a self-proclaimed audiophile, I've spent a lot of time and a lot of money building my dream digital sound system. So why would I now start burning money on messing with analog sound reproduction? I have amassed thousands upon thousands of hours of high quality digital music, and I only have meagre 100 or so LPs in my collection.

    But the irrational persistent voice in my head could not be swayed, so one thing lead to another, and about ten days ago I got me a brand new analog rig. After messing around and setting everything up, I waited for the cantilever in my cartridge to break in (20 to 30 hours of playing), and so yesterday I sat down for a good listen.

    I put on Chick Corea's "Leprechaun". A forty years old record, still in almost perfect shape. From the very opening of the side one, the sound nailed me to my seat. This was something else, a different kind of listening experience. By the time I finished listening to both sides, I felt an intense feeling of well being flood through my veins. Something was right with the world, I felt unlimited happiness emanating from every fibre of my body.

    Intrigued, I decided to play the same album ("Leprechaun") in digital format. Immediately heard the difference. Something was missing from the digital playback. What is it?

    I couldn't put my finger on it. After scratching my head a bit, and going back-and-forth between the LP and the AIFF file, it dawned on me. The essential difference between a good analog playback and a good digital playback can best described by one word: ENERGY!

    I felt that there is some sort of added energy that was coming out of the LP. Now, how do we measure that energy? It's not the decibels, because just cranking up the digital playback still does not convey that energy. I really am at a loss when it comes to defining or measuring that mysterious element, that analog energy, but I thought maybe someone on this forum is more articulate than I am, and could perhaps add their opinion. The only thing I can come up with is that by the sheer physicality of the turntable (it is a mechanical contraption that is producing a lot of kinetic energy as the platter is spinning), this kinetic energy somehow makes its way to the sound coming out of the speakers. And with digital, since nothing is moving, that kinetic energy is missing.

    Whatever it is, my turntable is making me very happy!
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: East Anglia UK

    Posts: 1,202
    I'm Marc.

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    Wanna buy some magic beans?

    ;-)

    Glad to hear it's working well for you, sometimes the 'why' is less important than the 'what'

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 3,716
    I'm Oliver.

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    Welcome to the never ending money pit of analogue

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > ZYX R50 Bloom cartridge > Jolida JD9 MKII > Firebottle Monoblocks > Creek OBH-11SE Headphone Amp > IXOS Speaker Cables > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers

  4. #4
    Join Date: Feb 2016

    Location: West Midlands

    Posts: 24
    I'm Barrington.

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    Well my totally unproven theory is that the brain picks up extra patterns in sound waves between the stylus and the vinyl because they mimic the behaviour of the eardrum and the bones of the middle ear. Our brain perceives this as more, musicality than from a digital source. As I said previously I have no imperical evidence, it just a theory of mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 18,290
    I'm Martin.

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    I've got a lot of albums on both CD and vinyl and I have sometimes become confused as to whether I am listening to the CD or the vinyl version. As in I've forgotten which I put on. Not to say there isn't a difference if I listen for it but if I am enjoying the music it doesn't occur to me to do that.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 1,845
    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I've got a lot of albums on both CD and vinyl and I have sometimes become confused as to whether I am listening to the CD or the vinyl version. As in I've forgotten which I put on. Not to say there isn't a difference if I listen for it but if I am enjoying the music it doesn't occur to me to do that.
    You can't be serious. You cannot remember whether you've fussed about putting on an LP (with all the accompanying ritual of cleaning the stylus, brushing the LP to remove surface dust/static, putting the clamp on, centering the tonearm, lowering the tonearm) or you simply pushed the 'Play' button on your remote control?
    Last edited by magiccarpetride; 14-03-2017 at 19:37. Reason: typo
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,215
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I've got a lot of albums on both CD and vinyl and I have sometimes become confused as to whether I am listening to the CD or the vinyl version. As in I've forgotten which I put on. Not to say there isn't a difference if I listen for it but if I am enjoying the music it doesn't occur to me to do that.
    Can't be a very resolving system if you can't tell the difference between vinyl or CD!
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 18,290
    I'm Martin.

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    Missing my point. The playback doesn't have to be the best ever resolution to enjoy it, to forget all else. As long as there is nothing to interrupt that, I forget about the mechanisms involved. 20 minute of an LP side is enough for that - for me anyway. Doesn't happen every time, but it happens, especially if I am playing both records and CDs in a session. I am using a Technics sL1200 though, which I think does sound more like a digital source than a lot of record decks.

    Obviously if it was a blind test I'm sure I could tell them apart 100% of the time but listening for enjoyment isn't a test.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,885
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Can't be a very resolving system if you can't tell the difference between vinyl or CD!
    Ah now.... In actuality, the *best* turntables share the traits of the best CD players, and vice versa.

    Thing is, when you can get a turntable to sound as 'accurate', effortless, stable/rock-solid and (almost) as quiet as a good CD player, whilst still acing it in the musicality stakes, then you *know* you've got something that's rather special.....

    Welcome to the world of a judiciously modified Technics SL-1200/1210

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 2,741
    I'm jamie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Welcome to the world of a judiciously modified Technics SL-1200/1210

    Marco.
    yep if its good enough for the dj fat boy slim .......
    My System/ Yamaha NS1000M speakers, Townsend Elite rock 2 turntable,,Alphason HR-100S-MCS,Zeta tonearms,Decca C4E Cartridge ,Sony 700ES Amp,Sony X555ES CD Player, Nakamichi ca5 pre amp ,

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