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Turntables & Tonearms Where Analog still Rules

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  #11  
Old 12-04-2018, 11:55 PM
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Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1 CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, WIREWORLD PLATINUM CABLES
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Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E650 INTEGRATED, DP560 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WIREWORLD GOLD CABLES
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:55 AM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
Absolutely, just be prepared to spend an awful lot of money to surpass vinyl. Specifically, 5~10 x more, YMMV.
Ok, how about if I stayed loyal to Mc? Within the Mc family can digital sound better? ARC doesn't have a turntable, and their DAC is ancient (2012 is their latest?), so I kinda get why that demo skews toward analog.

Or what DACs and source will I need for digital to surpass analog?
Will I need a better streamer, HD tracks FLAC files (or DSD 512?), a Dave DAC, an upscaler, and a dedicated clock?
I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I just haven't heard a digital system sound better than analog yet, and I'd like to know why and what it takes.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2018, 01:38 AM
Mouse Mouse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
Yep - there have been thousands of threads on this topic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Same ol', same ol', same ol'. .


This forum's last thread on the topic was from 09-21-2015, 02:34 PM
Furthermore that thread wasn't discussing maximum SQ from either format, it focused on SQ from a Master's recording standpoint.

The next most recent thread on the topic is from 11-24-2013, 04:28 PM, over 5 years ago. Good stuff in that thread really. But it's still 5 years old.

The next most recent thread in this forum is from 12-27-2012, 05:47 AM. Back in 2012 there was a clear consensus that vinyl is preferred. Sure there are exceptions, but overwhelmingly the forum preferred vinyl.

Next most recent is from 01-23-2011, 10:52 PM. It wasn't very relevant.

Anyway what I'm not seeing is thousands of threads. I see 4 on this forum section, all outdated and irrelevant. I stopped looking past 2010. With DAC tech evolving today, anything older than 12 months is probably useless.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2018, 03:28 AM
tima tima is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariess View Post
I have the opposite issue. I have tried a few turntables in my system, up to $10k cost, and never heard anything that matched my digital set up. Plus there is too much cleaning and fussing and I still can’t get the noise floor down in vinyl.
I suspect if you spent on vinyl (Turntable, Tonearm, Phonostage, and Cartridge) what you spent on Esoteric Grandioso K1 SACD/CD/DAC + G1 Master Rubidium Clock + 1/2 ARC Ref 10, vinyl would sound pretty darn good.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2018, 03:45 AM
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Mouse - I think the discussion pops up a lot - not just in dedicated analog vs digital threads but everytime someone mentions a hot new DAC

Anyway.. here's my journey

When I was moving to my new place, I ended up upgrading my digital gear to what I thought was going to be my end of the road system.

EMM Labs XDS (v1) SACD player US$25k
Playback Designs MPS-5 with USB-X box US$17k

I also upgraded the amplifiers (Bel Canto Pre3/REF1000Ms to Audio Research Ref5SE/Electrocompaniet Nemos)

What I heard was stunningly good compared to my old system (also in a much better room) so I was happy.

My analog rig was still in boxes because I didn't have the gear to set them up but I just never missed it.

Then when a friend came visiting, he helped me set up the turntable. Mind you, this was a really modest system in comparison:

Project RPM10.1 evolution with 10cc evolution tonearm
Sumiko Blackbird HOMC cart
Bel Canto Phono3 phono preamp

At the first drop, I was a little gobsmacked.. the life and energy from the vinyl system was so good, it put the much pricier digital system to shame.

Since then I have upgraded my analog gear again and it has been a satisfying journey.
Acoustic Signature Thunder 2017 with linear PS-1 and dual motors
Acoustic Signature TA5000 12" tonearm
Kiseki Purple Heart NS
(also a second arm The Wand Master 12" with Sumiko Pearwood Celebration II)
Audio Research Reference 3 phono

My only gripe is that I can't always find the album I want on vinyl whereas my CD collection and now TIDAL gives me access to so much at the touch of a button.

And then PS Audio released Snowmass the other day.

I'm listening to some of what I know are incredibly bright (and very bad digital glare) digital recordings which would have had me wincing in pain.

But the PS Audio just played it effortlessly. It was detailed and full of life and (I hate to say this) analog sounding.

Suddenly, I am looking at my analog rig and wondering if I made a wrong turn :P
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:44 AM
Beet Farmer Beet Farmer is offline
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After posting in this thread last night, I thought about other events that have a major impact of the sound quality,and which promoted the ability to see more in recordings than previously experienced, both via LP and CD.
One year ago my system was average good. I had it for years, and the only real 'up' upgrades were some high quality interconnects a few years ago.
Then I moved up from Magnepan 3.6 to 20.7 (and the first item in place to be able to hear anything 'more'.)
The second item was a Marantz SA-10 which, for the first time, allowed me to really hear differences in CD mastering the way I could hear them in LPs (The Marantz is not just a SACD player, it has a wonderful DAC which really does do more for CDs) A few newer slightly better powercords..
Then finally the thing that transformed the sound, Though to do it, all the other parts had to be ready, or it would have been a waste of time! and that was changing all the Duplex to Furutech. Suddenly with Lp I could easily hear the differences in how worn an LP was. With CD I could hear superdiscs, rather like the super LP list of Harry Pearson, Some CDs just had far more to offer, and some had the same sound I heard before with no extras..
So BOTH CD and LP had new layers of information opened up.
But I have to say without the foundation, without a steady upgrading of products, the blossoming would never had happened.
I also know there are areas awaiting upgrades, and perhaps new Worlds of insight into the performances in my system.
But both the LP playback and CD playback have attained new heights (and it is clear some recordings fail to measure up!) though if they have great performances, they are still worth listening to. And the joy is seen right through the mediocre sound. (Like listening recently to an opera recorded 1956, clearly a radio broadcast, sounding like it was played from a AM tube radio of the day. Yet the joy of the performance and the feel of the Milan, La Scala opera house was palpable. With Calas, and Gobbi...) On the other hand listening to a recording by Tori Amos where it became clear the producer had added something akin to a fuzzbox to her voice, so not amount of equipment could undo the harm, destroying any enjoyment for me. (where prior, before recent upgrades, it never was noticed by me, and did not seem like anything wrong)
So the comment I would add is the equipment one owns, upgrades, or lets stagnate, changes the amount one can hear from a recording.. of any type.

Last edited by Beet Farmer; 12-05-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:22 AM
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We all hear differently but to my ears my digital competes and fares quite well when compared to my vinyl.
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:37 AM
ariess ariess is offline
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Default Digital vs Vinyl

Quote:
Originally Posted by tima View Post
I suspect if you spent on vinyl (Turntable, Tonearm, Phonostage, and Cartridge) what you spent on Esoteric Grandioso K1 SACD/CD/DAC + G1 Master Rubidium Clock + 1/2 ARC Ref 10, vinyl would sound pretty darn good.
I am sure that that is true.

Which raises another question, if you have spent a lot of $$$ optimizing your system (that means making choices) to make one source sound sublime, is it worthwhile to bring in another source to compete? If you have unlimited funds, sure, why not? But otherwise, for most of us, you reach nirvana once and its hard to step way back with another source (that means sounding worse) and make that journey.

For me, there are a few issues with vinyl that are pretty much show-stoppers:
--I find surface noise irritating and distracting
--my collection of music is optical disks, I have no vinyl to speak of
--my digital sounds phenomenal (it should for what I have spent!)
--I have somewhat of a tremor that makes it hard to work with the needle, cartridge, and needle drop

But I am happy that so many here have found one or the other to scratch the itch.
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  #19  
Old 12-05-2018, 11:35 AM
clpetersen clpetersen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterlu View Post
+1
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Last edited by clpetersen; 12-05-2018 at 11:37 AM.
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  #20  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:19 PM
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Personally I've found the mastering and engineering techniques that had been used in creating the original recording far more critical to performance than format type.

In the few cases in which I possess the identical recordings on both vinyl and CD, the material had been remastered in the CD version making true apples-to-apples comparisons difficult and to my ears, the better of the two could be either format. I guess what I'm trying to say is that after many years of listening and experimenting, I still haven't been able to affirmatively resolve the question one way or the other...

That said, digital formats do hold the technological edge in respect to noise, speed variance and wear which may, or may not always be objectionable.
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