Analogue-free system


I have had a TT since 1971, starting with a $99 AR table, then progressed to a couple of Thorens tables and then a SOTA Sapphire in 1984.  It was later upgraded to the vacuum platter.  With a SAEC 407 arm and Dynavector 20x2 HOMC, the sound for years was much better than any digital source I had. 
However, with the acquisition of an upgraded Oppo 103D a few years ago, less and less was I able to discern a superior sound with the TT.  Now, with the introduction of Tidal and Spotify, I find myself listening mostly to streaming music, as well as from jazz stations like KNKX and KCSM.  And of course my large CD collection.

It was the end of an era when the buyer picked up the SOTA rig this week, which has left me with a lot of fond memories of the decades I spent with the very fine analogue set up. I am perplexed that there is still so much interest in TT, but am aware that using a TT provides a more participatory audio experience than simply streaming music or storing all your music on music server.  Cheers, Whitestix
whitestix
Post removed 
I don't have a turntable fetish, just a better more involving sound fetish.
Post removed 
there was times when cds came in in 80's. i tried one listening through headphones and decided not to even go there because i wasn't hearing everything i used to hear in analog.
in 90's there was artists and albums that did not go to analog and i started getting into digital playback to hear more music and still kept my analog playback. By that time I had about 6 various turntables at least 3 of them were in gigs. People getting rid of records in LARGE quantities and I still have my rig singin' and spinnin' so figure out -- my collection grown almost for freeeeeee! 
Grown to the size of the descent record store by 2011 and there you go...
Analog forever!
I’m an old guy. I like vinyl and digital, streaming Tidal MQA too. Sometimes I get on a streaming jag, other times a CD binge. But I alway come back to vinyl and know not to ever sell my ‘tables. 

Now you’ve let that sweet TT go. I hope you don’t regret it down the road. 
I'm with tooblue. If I could find a digital set-up that brought me as close to the emotional content of live music as does vinyl, I would adopt it.  I have heard many variations on megabuck digital.  Without fail, those systems sound very very good, but after 30 minutes, I am yawning or reading a book.  With good vinyl, I cannot concentrate on the written word; I am drawn into the music.


Streaming is cool. Every sit in room with someone streaming? Almost never listen to a whole song let alone a whole album. Its like channel surfing and spending all your time looking at the guide menu.

Ever seen a digital library? You know the ones that have multiple file formats and missing artwork and tracks? The ones that freeze and you have to interact with a computer. You know the ones you have to have a back up hard drive in case your main one goes down or you loose your whole collection?

Or the CD collection that you have to store and clean just like records. The ones that if you get the wrong kind of scratch they are toast? 

Yeah records suck........

Post removed 
Post removed 
I have NO distortion or snap, crackel or pop! I believe I have a first rate digital and vinyl set ups. Sometimes I get lazy and I put on digital. But when I Truly wish to listen to music, it’s vinyl, Always! I have heard and read these dumb uninformed posts before and usually don’t respond. I find this particular one to be extremely moronic. But that’s just my view. I will keep my vinyl system and 3000 plus records and some day leave them to one of my children or grandchildren. Try doing that with your tidal and Spotify. If they even still exist. Vinyl will.
👍🖖✌️
+1 Lewn.  Exactly!
Oh, and+1 whatthe. Perfectly said!
first rate digital like Ayre?  or like Schiit? or ??

the great thing is you can listen to vinyl as much as you want - or cassettes...

but I find the OP to be correct
Post removed 
Gents,
I sure don't mean to fan the fire of digital vs. analogue as the audio tent is a big one and we all can pick our our sources.  They are all great.  My original post was really more of an ode to my decades long relationship with my analogue source.   I used to enjoy fooling around with setting up cartridges, adjusting VTA, etc etc, but as I am now a pensioner, I just enjoy the ease and very fine sound of digital music sources.  Now, what to do with my ~800 jazz lp's??  Their absence will create space for few hundred more books.  
A lot of music is not available on vinyl or tape, and digital is getting better, so this tendency even for some long-time audiophiles to abandon analogue is understandable and will continue. 
They should not count on my support, though. Besides sound quality and emotional involvement, analogue helps keep the connection to the roots. Not just roots of music. The world is analogue stupid.
whitestix
I sure don’t mean to fan the fire of digital vs. analogue as the audio tent is a big one and we all can pick our our sources. They are all great.
The flames that erupted here weren’t your fault, @whitestix, you just shared your experience. I’ve been into vinyl since long before the digital era, and have no plan to abandon it. I also have very good digital gear, so I can enjoy both. For many of us, it’s not an either/or proposition; to suggest otherwise is illogic.

Yet, LP playback is surely a bit of a nuisance and an expense - phono cartridges have a limited life-span - so I can understand why some users choose to leave it behind.
Like @whitestix I was a longtime user of analogue sources. I made the transition to digital 6 years ago and never looked back. My transition to digital music has been nothing but very enjoyable. After I burned all my CDs I rarely ever played a CD again. I have 2 systems and my wife has one system. She has her library on her MacBook Pro and I have mine on my iMac. We use our iPhones or iPads as remotes to wirelessly stream our music to either an Airport Express or Apple TV, using the optical output into a DAC. It works seamlessly and over 6 years we have never had a dropout, freeze, or glitch of any kind. It always works. Even my 3 year old grandson can play his music on my wife"s system with his iPad.

Also we have never lost any playlists, artwork, or tracks. The only way i can imagine you could do that if you accidentally delete them. Of course you do have to back up everything just in case. Every time I burn a CD, I back it up to 2 separate external hard drives which takes about a minute each, so it is no big deal. 
Probably said this before. I've heard superb examples of analogue and digital including streaming. I think the real winners here are people who can enjoy all formats of music. JMHO.
As we get older our listening habits change but it shouldn't be either or. I'm actually on the opposite path. I have a mid-fi analog system that I'm gradually updating to enjoy my records more. But back to the OP, what really surprised me was you selling out your vinyl for a mid-fi piece like an Oppo 103D, upgraded or not. It would have been easier to understand if you'd heard and switched to something real high end but hey whatever makes you happy.
I'll take your jazz LPs if they are in the way.
I’m among the listen to both camp. I listened only to vinyl most of my life. I still have a turntable and a few hundred Lps. I also have a lot of great music not available on vinyl. My digital sounds great too. To each his own.
andysf,
Are you by any chance in San Francisco?  I live in Sacramento.  Let me know.

Kalili,
Regarding my Oppo, I have some thoughts.  My pal has a $4000 Modwright-upgraded Oppo CD player in a $30K system and I think it sounds as good as his TOTL VPI TT set up -- both fantastic.  He recently bought an Oppo 205D ( no idea why, maybe for its enhanced video capabilities) and we compared his Modwright Oppo to his new Oppo and neither of us could discern much of a difference in SQ.  I borrowed the Oppo 205 and compared it to my 103 in my home system and really didn't find anything remarkably different about the 205 compared to my 103. Both sounded fantastic.

I have run my Oppo directly into my Don Sachs preamp and then through various DACs, including the Schiit Gungnir and Denafrips
Ares, and the SQ was, to my ears, identical with the DAC in the loop or out of the loop.  Identical. It is possible that if i bought a $3K-$5K CD player that the SQ would improve, but I am not sure that would be a good value proposition.  If you have a significantly better CDP in mind, would be keen to know about it.    Cheers, Whitestix   
I don't have any specific recommendations for a transport but I expected the Denafrips add a bit of "charm" when paired with the Oppo. Sounds like you've got a good synergy going on in your system and shouldn't have to look for something else.
Dear @whitestix : I think you are correct on your point of view and as other gentlemans that posted here Digital is the NEW BOSS and sooner or latter we all analogue lovers will be fully digital.

I own over 7K LP´s but certainly know for sure Digital not only today outperfors it but day by day ( as cell phones/Ipad/computers. ) will be and is better when analogue can't and has not any chance ( LPs. ) to improve to the digital quality level performance.  Analog technology is fully limited when digital is way open to follow growing up.

All those posts surrounded the superiority of LP vs analogue are only a " kik's dead " that audiophiles just are denied to accept, they can't accept reality can't accept the true and that's why we read words surrounded  LPs as: involving, true to the live music, more emotional and the like.

I know that one thing is not to accept the reality and other very different thing to be stupid about.

Digital has not all that " entretainment/fun " around: shopping/choosing cartridges, tonearms, matching cartridge/tonearm, TT kind of drive, choosing mats, choosing clamps, plattforms, headshells, re-wiring, VTA, VTF, different kind of set up alignments, all the the take care to mantain clean the LP and stylus tip and everything, check up for speed stability, buy different protractors and compare in between, hundred of tests/evaluations/comparisons and of course all the analog forums over the net.
But if you  erase all that fun just gone/goes and with digital stays the MUSIC and nothing but the MUSIC.

Yes. sooner or latter my analogue hardware must goes.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
My analog source sounds like analog 
my digital sounds like digital. 

Which one one of those is a compliment?

ive been reading for 20 years how digital has finally caught up with analog....
maybe someday it will actually happen. 
Raul,
Your 5th paragraph describes endless hassles that I will never face again. No more oppty's for my cat to jump on my TT and break a $1K stylus,  etc.  I think the next quantum leap in sources will be the decision to "rent" music, i.e. Spotify/Tidal vs. buying CDs.  
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.....
Digital is definitely more convenient 
Some folks seem to forget that we call this a "hobby" and the means is not always towards an end. My other hobby is collecting and repairing vintage fountain pens.The act of writing can be more easily accomplished using a Bic ballpoint pen but where is the joy in that. Not everything has to be logical...
kalali,
You are exactly right about this being a hobby for some.  For others, the gear is only a means with which to enjoy the music and having to fool around with TT "care and feeding" detracts from the enjoyment of the musical listening experience.  In fact, the gear can indeed be a "means to the end."    



I have to say that I own and use a variety of ways to enjoy music playback.
TT
Cassette
CD
Music vault containing ripped CD,s
Tidal streaming.

Do they all have different flavours?
Sure they do.
Will I sit here and say categoricaly that one source is superior to another?
Hell no!
Sometimes I am on a vinyl binge and do not mind getting up every 20 minutes or so, I do find I tend to "listen" to the music more deeply this way.
Other days I am pure lazy and hit go on a Tidal playlist and just drift away and tend to not get as deep into it .
Cassettes and CD are sort of a half way house with longer in between attentions needed.

But atm I love them all!
I think it is stupid to complain about backing up a digital file, or losing a cd or song. When I backup a file it’s there in duplicate for many many years. I can get a song, a cd, or a library back in minutes. You accidentally do something to vinyl, or you have a fire, you are screwed. Each time you play vinyl, it losses some of its playback SQ.
some vinyl sounds better than digital, some hi-res MQA flies sound superior to vinyl, and there are millions of cd/songs that are on digital that were never produced on vinyl. 
Both formats can be excellent sounding.

Uberwalz,
Well said, no doubt.  Here is an extraordinary benefit of a $10/mo subscription of Spotify or double that for Tidal for a better stream.  I pretty much only listen to jazz myself. I get Downbeat and they identified their top recordings of the year recently.  I was able to listen to virtually all the them via Spotify and found that other than the Dianna Krall recording I already had, I would not be compelled to buy any of them, which by the strength of their reviews, I might have otherwise done.  Besides my happiness with the SQ of Spotify, heresy I know, it has saved me a boatload of money buying recordings in which I fancy only one or two cuts.   I still avidly buy CDs of those great recordings I hear in their entirely on Spotify.  
OK, so most of us are sophisticated enough in this hobby to have figured out what pleases us, as individuals, and we have each made a choices or established a preference.  This little waltz around is not going to change anyone.  We can move on.  Raul, will you be moving over to a digital forum any time soon?  I am still wondering what you use for digital playback.
Speaking of convenience, soon enough we won't have to drive, to cook, to think and maybe even to f...
You want this kind of life ? 
As Cypher (The matrx) said “ignorance is bliss”. 
@whitestix
Yes a very important point I entirely agree on...being able to hear albums I might have bought on Tidal first to find that a lot I would not now bother to buy. And if I am on the fence over any I just save as a favourite and listen again at my convenience.
I did stump up for the top tier $20 a month on Tidal and really glad I did.
Also allows me to listen to stuff I never even knew existed!
Certainly convenient....
In audio there is no best, only a best for you.  I may disagree with your premise, but that does not make you wrong. 
Dear @lewm : """ Raul, will you be moving over to a digital forum any time soon? """

Please let me know why should do I ?. The great opportunity that audio forums gives to all of us is to share and read several audio topics where many times we have no deep experiences with and permit to all of us LEARN about things that we just can’t even imagine are in the day by day audio world hobby. All these happens because the imnherent liberty that exist all over the free world.

I know that digital and SS electronic technologies goes against your " believes " but you are a very wise man/audiophile that already knows the superiority of both: digital and SS vs analog/LP and tubes but you just can’t accept it and I wonder why is that when I know for sure you are and have good common sense because it’s only this human been characteristic what we need to take in count that superiority.

All that " romantic " histories that we analog lovers always have are only histories way out of reality. Accept the TRUE is not easy, changes always means a hard pain for each one of us not only in audio but in our day by day life.

I said that sooner or latter my analog hardware will goes in the mean time I will listen to both alternatives. The one that never come back to me are those tubes because has not any relationship with the quality performance level ( I talking top quality levels. ) in any true audiophile/music lover home audio system.

I know that exist several audiophiles that just don’t post his preferences with today alternative but here you can count some of them and are welcomed as you are welcomed to share what you want it.

Lewm, you will never enjoy the digital alternative till you ACCEPT it. This subject it’s not on what we like and what we don’t like, the main subject is: TODAY REALITY, TODAY AUDIO DEVELOPMENT and all we can’t close our eyes/ears to that TRUE.

No one of us are stupid blind/deaf human been.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
Lewn you hit the nail on the head.  Having a debate with people who believe SS and digital sound more like REAL music than Vinyl and Tubes, well you do the math.  Why anyone would come on a Vinyl forum and try to convert our poor souls to digital and solid state is beyond me.

I realize this is a mad hatter party which I am intruding on, but I could not help myself. Texture, tone, decay, attack, detail are words I seldom hear on these forums.  I hear black background, crisp high, detail detail detail, sound stage etc...  

I do listen to my highly modified 2A3 tube transformer output CD player when I am building my tone arms, turntables, and tube gear.  Not going to get up every 20 minutes.

Enjoy the ride
Tom
Raul, My neighbor, who is a good friend as well, has a very very expensive digital set-up.  I myself only own an Ayre C5Xe-mp and an Oppo 105 (one for each of my two different systems).  However, I spend a lot of time listening to my neighbor's megabuck digital system, as well as to his analog system.  Both he and I greatly prefer analog for "serious listening".  If he wants to demonstrate a recent change in his equipment, he prefers to use vinyl as a source. At my house, I almost never listen to CDs (or SACDs or etc), unless I want to read a book with music in the background.  Or if we are having a party.  This is because I DO hear "distortions" in digital.  Failure to elicit emotion is in my mind an indication that digital is leaving something out that was there in the original source musical content.  (I attend live musical performances typically twice a month.) Digital commits errors of omission, in other words.  But I will always listen to the "next big thing" in digital, always hoping to find something better.  Which is why I wonder why you are so secretive about your own digital gear; if you are so convinced regarding its superiority, why not make it known to us so we might benefit?  (You wrote that I won't "enjoy the digital alternative until [I] ACCEPT it"?  That's ridiculous.)

I accept your right to your own preferences; why can you not accept mine?  Why is the "other guy" in your thought process always delusional?  Finally, as I have said many many times but with no penetration into your brain: unlike yourself, I try to keep an open mind.  I do not categorically condemn or eliminate SS and digital from my life.  Both of my phono stages are hybrids, using both tubes and transistors in the signal path.  Because I have found that is the best way to achieve the gain needed for LOMCs without using a SUT.  The input and driver stages in my Beveridge amplifiers are all solid state.  I do use the Ayre, because I think that it is one of the best one-box CDPs I have ever heard, but I do recognize it is not state of the current digital art.  For that, I can go down the street and be underwhelmed.
Dear @lewm : You posted: """ I try to keep an open mind. """

the facts that I have says that that " open minded " way of thinking is only that: from mouth out but ceratinly what you do or did it in several audio important issues are different from what you say. Examples in your own system:

- years ago when I posted for the first time in this forum the " advanatage s" to have the TT/tonearm in a " naked fashion " and when you were doing the work to assemble your DP 80 with a slate plinth and before you finished that I told you what to do ( because I own that TT. ) for you can have a better quality performance, I told you " only to test it " and your " open mind " told me an explanation why you did not even that you had the opportunity to at least give atry.
In that same regards you was absolutely against that tonearm been mounted in a stand alone " tower ". Yes exist " thousands " of arguments against it but you never gives you the opportunity to test in your own system if your rtheory was or is a true when we test it.

Other example was with your subwoofers in one of your systems where I told you ( what is in my subwoofers thread. ) the critical importance that the dedicated amps for active subs be true dedicated, this means that the amps designs stays and match exactly the characteristics/needs of the subs drivers and your " open mind " again says no.

I can go on and on other examples with advises coming from other gentlemans in this forum.
As a fact I don’t care what you do with your audio life because is you whom have to live with, not me or other audiophile.

In this thread you posted:

""" Failure to elicit emotion is in my mind an indication that digital is leaving something out that was there in the original source musical content. """

well, more than once you and me had a dialogue about in other threads where I been very specific on which kind of tests we have to do to confirm that digital is truer to the recording against not only LP but even R2R and till today you never even think on that test possibilities thank’s to your " open mind ". Not only that but we followed step by step what happens with the musig signal information picked up by microphones durin the recording proccess and step by step analizing each single " step " where the recorded signal must pass till that signal is inside the amplifers/speakers. We did it that with the LP choice and the digital alternative too.

Obviously that your " open mind/common sense " can’t see how all those " thousands " of degradation steps makes that the LP original recording signal losted a huge music information that is totally losted when we are listen to it and that in the digital alternative does not happens at that " terrible and horrendeous " analog alternative.

In your statement you did not ask and please do it: hey is there any single music signal information that dissapeared through those " thousands " of steps during the recording/playback analog proccess ? or the only alternative that according to you is losting information is digital?

By the contrary I have that open mind and my facts through my audio life confirm it, my attitude is truly different to yours in that regards.
I always test any single comment/advise that any audiophile ( including rockies. ) makes over Agon forums and other forums and why did and do take the time to do it?. Easily: THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN THE ONLY WAY TO GROW UP IS TESTING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE EXPERIENCED.

I already walked a very long and hard audio road over my audio life making mistakes after mistakes but even those mistakes were for learning, this is something you can think you did and do but in reality was not so in deep as me or other gentlemans did and do it.

As you know I was too a tube lover and I’m still a LP lover but a digital one too.

We only have to learn to know that tubes are not for listen music in home audio system in today year 2018.

@tomwh : """ and try to convert our poor souls to digital and solid state is beyond me. """

I don’t post for convince any one of anything, I only share tested experiences.

The name of the game is: learning and to do this we have to have a true/real OPEN MIND not as Lewm attitude. Obviously if we want grow up, if we want to stay truer to the recording and nothing less. Maybe you need to learn something else additional to your today audio knowlwedge/skill levels. but I don't care if you will try or not. Is up to each one of us.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


Darkstar1- not sure how you setup your digital library but it doesn’t sound like it’s setup correctly. When I used a computer as a music server with pure music or audirvana, I had no issues with library metadata. Now, I don’t use a computer hooked up to a dac, I use a bridge. I use roon which has excellent methods of creating metadata for all your ripped music as well as tightly integrating Tidal with your library.
if you have metadata issues, try Bliss which rebuilds your metadata.
My system is all digital.  I have a farm with a dog and sometimes cats that live with me in the house.  It is simply too much trouble to keep vinyl clean.  And good digital sounds better than dirty vinyl.  I have probably spent less than any of you on equipment - a cheap teac dac ($300), mostly adcom amps & preamps, plus one mac tube amp and an apt preamp where i sit most of the time, and dell desktop.
My music is all on an external hard drive, and it is all downloaded free from various p2p sites and qbitorrent, all high quality (no mp3 unless it is some song I am trying to learn to play on guitar).  I mostly listen to classical music, mostly solo, rarely more than a quartet.  My first hard drive is 4 Tb, the new one is 5 Tb. 
I am very happy with sound quality, and even happier with the ease of selection and play.
I also download movies and documentaries, ie, Attenborough's latest Blue Planet II - again, that is free, all 7 episodes available while the rest of paying USA waits for its weekly dose.  And they are all so readily accessible when grandchildren show up on a rainy day.
Forgot to mention
4 pairs of speakers, the best of which is a pair of AR90, which I bought for $50 at the local Hongwanji annual sale, and replaced the surrounds.  Just bought a pair of Klipsch, but don't like them as much as my old KLH or my Pioneers.

One more thought
P2P is really a joy, an adventure.
I recently found
"The Complete Million Dollar Quartet"
Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash
Elvis was in studio auditioning for first record ever, Jerry Lee came in then Perkins and Cash, and they all just met Elvis, and they all explore old songs they know, totally raw unrehearsed, meanwhile the engineer recorded it.
Also easy to find a ton of classical Indian music, Ali Akbar, Ravi Shankar, Villayat Khan.
NTM many classical pianists you never heard of who play so much better than you ever imagined.
Please let me know if you decide to list your LP collection for sale.  Thanks.