|Hi everyone. Some of you will remember my post from a couple weeks back about trying out vinyl. My dealer setup that old AR for me and I listened to it for a while and then listened to the same records on a new Pro-Ject RM 6 SB with a Sumiko Blue Point #2 cartridge. I liked the Pro-Ject better so I took it home for an audition in my system.|
I borrowed some basically new LPs from my dealer's collection. Most of them are the 180 gm. "audiophile grade" limited editions. I got U2 War, Eagles Hell Freezes Over, John Lee Hooker, Pink Floyd DSOTM and REM Document. I was familiar with all these and own the CD counterpart of each album for direct comparisons.
I carefully setup the turntable making sure it was level. My dealer has been selling turntables for decades so I trust the other adjustments. I used the C42 to level-match the outputs of my Sony C333ES SACD player and the Pro-Ject, again for fair direct comparisons.
I listened to each album on its own on the turntable and then I went back and played the Sony in parallel. I switched between the two sources from my listening chair. In this case, I would keep the turntable 40 seconds ahead of the Sony so every 40 seconds I could hear the exact same passage in digital form. Hearing memory is short so I kept the interval short. I also made longer comparisons to be sure of my thoughts.
The bottom line is that the Pro-Ject didn't sound any better than my Sony. They had exactly the same tonality and soundstaging. On DSOFTM in SACD, the Sony was virtually indistinguishable from the turntable. I couldn't believe it. This is the first time I can't hear a reliable difference between two different components.
With other records, the turntable seemed to have a slightly more extended and weightier bottom end. But then the Sony had slightly better definition so it was a wash. After these tests, I see no reason for me to go with vinyl. You think maybe the phono stage in my C42 isn't good enough? Or maybe the turntable should be a better one? Well then, I am even less interested in vinyl if that is the case. The Sony costs about $350 these days.
I am sure some of you will be upset with my decision but I have to say I was excited to try it out and I kept my outlook totally unbiased. I loved the looks of the Pro-Ject and my dealer has an awesome collection of vinyl for sale at really good prices so I wanted to tap into that. But I don't see any reason to do that now. Oh well!