Choices!

Agaton Sax

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I have not been listening much to my sound system. There has been the overall darkness of Covid, then the death of my friend and fellow audio traveller, other issues and finally the dragon called Escom that would pull the plug every time my system was in a period of warming up.

When I finally returned to sound it was streaming: A million songs and nothing to listen too. But I was in awe just how good the sound was, how stunning the music-and I?ll walk away to do something else. All through I wondered? Why 4, what people would consider, state of the art turntables ,why umpteen arms and why all those cartridges? I even said  openly one should have one of each and Basta! Why not sell all Analog devices and stream and stream and stream forever?

Then I broke out analog again. I forced myself to take an album and listen again. And it was as always: Chaos as one album followed another in a state of chaotic energy. Hour follows hour as music took precedence over all else.

But it was Kraftwerk: Their Radioaktiv had noise in the one channel. Carefully clean the v d  Hul  stylus or just flop to another cart on another table? Yes! but, but ,but. Dang the noise ,is this the same album? Yes! Back to almost 2 years ago. As the Reed /Vd Hul devoured one album after another, painfully showing  the intro of Human League?s ?Lebanon? on 80s 12 inch vinyl  once belonging to a proud ?Abrie? and bought for R5 by me from goodness knows where but totally shattering the digital. Breakfast in America painful in its 70s prog tricks and then?No,No? : Joy Division deserves more. The 70s sledgehammer Fidelity Research combo showed the music to  be so much more than the cheesy synth and bass lines laid bare by the thoroughly modern Reed/v d Hul combo. Perfect! Then side B on Koetsu Onyx cart and arm and?.what a mess! Back to FR and England?s gloomy industrial Northwest at its 80s bleakest.Koetsu rubbish then? No, no! Carol King on Tapestry and 1 second and why they need that piano in that locale,King's Northeast US Jewish voice in such perfection you don?t even need a map. Only a Koetsu can do that.

So, Rubbish? You are right Ingvar, you need choices? in analog at least!
 

achim

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..reading you Johan is like looking into a mirror...same music btw....same questions, same frustrations once in a while and the chaos of empty LP Covers all around me....  manic phases followed by the questions why I am doing this and for what.....short phases of depression and one fine record ll make the change to the better .....
 

Ingvar Ahlberg

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Well Johan, choices, we face them every day, most of them naturally not audio related, many of them only semi conscious but still choices.

Then there are those deliberate choices, thought through, based on something, taste perhaps or a combination of that and taking a stance, a point of view.

I, by choice, don?t own or buy anything produced in PRC, this is only based in my view of ethics and moral.

I only buy wine produced in SA and Italy, based in my taste and gut feeling.

As I don?t have any digital sound sources, except this PC and this is not connected to the preamp, I only have the turntable as music source, only leaves two choices, which cartridge to use and which record to listen to?

Since I received and mounted the Hana ML a few weeks ago the choice was narrowed down to just choosing record.

This will, ofcourse, change with time but presently sitting still, not rocking the boat.

Ingvar
 

johan.pretorius

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Ingvar Ahlberg said:
As I don?t have any digital sound sources, except this PC and this is not connected to the preamp, I only have the turntable as music source, only leaves two choices, which cartridge to use and which record to listen to?

Since I received and mounted the Hana ML a few weeks ago the choice was narrowed down to just choosing record.

Less is more, as they say.

For me, it went in the opposite direction.  When I got back into vinyl (some 4-5 years ago), it was my only source of music.  It has since evolved into a full house: vinyl, cassette tapes, digital (Tidal and then some FLAC files acquired from various sources) and finally, CD.  And I've also invested in a proper desktop PC sound system.

When it comes to music choices specifically, it all boils down to current mood. Analog media still takes preference for a fully engaged listening experience, but I've also learned to limit digital listening sessions to a specific artist or genre.  The PC system is used for exploring and discovering alternative/new music.

 

chrisc

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Are you not just preaching to the converted?  There will always be proponents of analogue and digital. 

What you find most pleasing to your ears and mind is your choice

IMHO both have positive and negative attributes
 

stereoholic

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Nice read, after finding a box of tapes I thought I'd tossed years ago I decided to dig out my Denon tape deck which had been exiled to a top cupboard and long forgotten. After a quick clean of the heads I connected it up and man was I surprised! The sweet sound of analogue filled the room for the rest of the evening, maybe I'm going deaf in my old age, but it sounded way better than I ever remember, now the hunt starts for blank cassettes.
 

johan.pretorius

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stereoholic said:
Nice read, after finding a box of tapes I thought I'd tossed years ago I decided to dig out my Denon tape deck which had been exiled to a top cupboard and long forgotten. After a quick clean of the heads I connected it up and man was I surprised! The sweet sound of analogue filled the room for the rest of the evening, maybe I'm going deaf in my old age, but it sounded way better than I ever remember, now the hunt starts for blank cassettes.

Awesome, cassette can sound pretty good with the right deck.

Contact me if you need some blank cassettes (I have a couple of new TDK Type I tapes and a variety of used tapes). And if you are on Facebook, please join the Tape Heads South Africa group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/zatapeheads

 

stereoholic

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johan.pretorius said:
Awesome, cassette can sound pretty good with the right deck.

Contact me if you need some blank cassettes (I have a couple of new TDK Type I tapes and a variety of used tapes). And if you are on Facebook, please join the Tape Heads South Africa group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/zatapeheads

Slight problem,I managed to scrounge a blank tape from my sister, but the record function no long works as in nothing happens when I press the record button. I tried to download a service manual from hifi-engine but no luck as it seems my ip is banned for some reason.I did find a manual for the DRS 810 (mine's the 640), which looks pretty similar, so I'll check that out in the mean time.
 

Agaton Sax

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I must blame Achim for my thoughts. Why him, well why not? But Achim has been here a long time and he sells a lot of very delectable stuff. He doesn't hard sell. Send you this, send you that but he did once. He wanted me to try a Brinkmann streamer/DAC. That thing did exactly what it had to do in my system, to my tastes. There are better, I'm sure. There are certainly more expensive. But Achim knew I had to have a Brinkmann and he was right.

Have I gone mad? Why the hell is this in vinyl? But here is the thing: That Brinkmann got me listening to digital instead of analogue. I was no stranger to high-end DACs but this got to me. Then Reeman restructured the stream supply and I said that the only way digital doesn't get to analogue was the way it would scale, sizewise and dynamically and the way reproduced music could sketch and paint the room it was recorded in. But then Pierre Watts introduced his Switch and suddenly those objections were gone. Digital was now better than analogue. Take "Dusty in Memphis (please take her). It was long believed in the TAS world that all you need was a bazillion rand turntable and one lp."Dusty in Memphis". That was all and you are in nirvana. Now briefly: There was England's Queen of Soul, Dusty Springfield. She was good and sold a bazillion records. What better idea than to take Dusty to America and get the Muscle Shoals Band from Alabama to accompany her. But Dusty got to New York and went no further. The Muscle Shoals Boys clearly didn't like her or her sexual orientation. And it shows. On your top turntable, you could hear Dusty in the isolation booth, her dulcet tones hitting the wall of the booth. With the Brinkmann, you can hear Dusty and the Boys are thousands of miles apart. They don't gel. She sings beautifully. The Muscle Shoals play as good as they can. But they don't play together! They don't gel. Take Nirvana on Nevermind. The 3 guys are in a space the size of a toilet or a timeshare in Margate. They are almost on each other's laps and they play off one another. They gel. As does Neil Young and his band on "After The Goldrush". A tiny cabin in Laurel Canyon. The DAC tells me that. Analog doesn't.

Now, here is the thing: I recently broke my right wrist. So I sat at home for 3 weeks. I couldn't drive, I work for myself so no work no money. I couldn't play vinyl or 10-inch tape. I could play digital. All day and all night for 3 glorious weeks and due to Tidal I had a million, million songs. No interrruption. Did I? No, only once in the 3 weeks. Maybe I have gone of music? Yees maybe. But on Thursday the brace came off. And I went running to the LPs. Stack after stack of black vinyl flew through the table. I don't even pack them away. The lounge looks like a school fate. Not that they are tactile because the player is in a separate room and once the needle is dropped I see nothing. Not that it is the action of putting a record on the deck. My wrist is still sore as hell and any loading of a record is hell. Digital sounds good, very good. Maybe even better than Analogue. Then why do I gravitate to Analogue if Digital sounds good, there are millions more choices and it involves no pain?
 

Trompie67

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I've noticed something similar.
Subscribed to Apple Music at the beginning of the year - family membership thingie.
At the behest of the girl-child who dumped spotify due to dumbass-rogan.

I literally have millions of songs to listen to. In the car, at my desk, at the braai, anywhere and everywhere. Not only what is on my PC/Server, but all that is in apple music.

I think, despite the algorithms, the choice is simply overwhelming. Too much choice creates an Alvin Toffler Overchoice, so: Rather make no choice.

It took some time, but I've managed to train the suggestions to leave out 99% of the local junk, the hip-hop crap, the pop music here-today-gone-tomorrow rubbish and most other nonsense that I do not care to listen to.

That said, life has been such that I've hardly listened to any LP's for the last year odd. Decided last week to make a concerted effort (ha-ha-ha) to listen more.

LP's are simply superior. Maybe it is the tactile aspect. Or the visual aspect - Of the LP itself? Of the equipment?
It is interactive listening, and really, is that not what all humans crave: interaction?
As opposed to the cold & clinical digital?

YMMV. I'm off to have a quick listen before the ladies of the household blast live-streaming of the 6-Bar showjumping of the horse show under floodlights from Shongweni!
 
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