Has anybody added a full analog playback to there system recently ? ( turntable, cartridge, phono amp, cables)
and what was your verdict ? And Compared to digital?
I did mine and am very happy LP’s are WAY quieter than expected , at my price point. ( Project Classic , Hana SL, Musical Surroundings Phenomona 2 ) I’ve found cables made a bigger difference than expected
I find digital and analog close, but , just , sound different . I need to play lots more albums to complete compare and contrast . Recording quality is way over the place
Yeah sure I did this too, only not recently but years ago. Back in the 90's I had just about completed my "dream system" which was of course CD. When a book by Robert Harley said the turntable is the cornerstone of any true high end system I was shocked. No way!
Let me tell you, tracking down a good turntable to hear was a lot harder back then than now! Was a lot of trouble but worth it as my first Basis/Graham/Glider sounded wonderful. For a number of years I would listen to both. But over the years it became apparent digital simply isn't all that, its just a whole lot easier to get big improvements with analog, and so now many years later its all I do.
Your ProJect is a nice table. Certainly well worth good wire and a phono stage. If you also put it on some Townshend Pods, or even Nobsound springs, you will be amazed. One of the cooler things about turntables, they are good right out of the box but that's really just a starting point. Simple things like a sand box or massive shelf, springs, fO.q tape, Synergistic PHT, can make your $1800 rig sound more like $5k or more!
Then again you can always just enjoy what you have. That's the best part. I've always been happy with mine, whatever it was and at whatever stage it was. I never felt the need to make it better. Want to, like to, don't need to. Crucial difference. Enjoy!
I did listen 70% vinyl and my digital is much closer to my vinyl after changing from Rogue Audio to Aesthetix I listen to digital when I have company or looking for new music if I fine some thing I love I will buy it on vinyl You can check out my system in virtual systems
My experience is similar to yours Jeff: The Jury is still out - they both have their pluses and minuses. The new vinyl LPs I've purchased are mostly very quiet (some have faults that sound like a scratch plus the odd click and pop) but the recording quality to me is very, very good. My old LPs from the 70s and 80s are quite poor due to damage and age - most of my classical vinyl is unplayable. I only added a turnable (Technics SL-1210GAE 55th Anniversary Limited Edition which came with a Nagaoka MM cartridge) plus a pair of Chord phono cables. I'm not sure if my set up is truly analogue as my preamp/dac converts everything that comes in to digital and performs RIAA equalisation in the digital domain before the dac converts the signal back to analogue? The other issue, of course, is the 'provenance' of the regular vinyl (not the pricey audiophile issues put out by MoFi, Analogue Productions etc) we buy these days and whether it's just pressed from a digital master. Some might say if it sounds great - and it does - then who cares. It just means we think it's a binary comparison - analogue versus digital - when it actually isn't that straight forward. However, for now I'm really enjoying the vinyl experience - everything from the wonderful sound to the fact I now listen to the whole album which is something I rarely did with CD and almost never with streaming. At its best, digital can be incredible but it seems to me there's a lot of inconsistency and I often find myself scrambling to turn down the volume because of harshness and digital 'glare', or volume mismatching between tracks/albums, which you just don't get with vinyl. Just listened to Led Zeppelin II on 180g vinyl (remastered by Jimmy Page version), and it put a huge grin of my face!
Yes, really enjoy the whole album and thus ‘getting’ a sense of what the artist was trying to achieve. I have a Linn Selekt DSM Katalyst (line-level only version - without the power amp module). Ironically, when I upgraded to the Linn only 18 months ago I was dead set that it was going to be digital for me all the way and that I would never own a turntable again. The Linn is a brilliant and very versatile bit of kit all round that keeps the box count down without giving up much SQ wise. I’m very happy with the sound it delivers with vinyl but noromance has now put the thought in my head - what might keeping the signal analogue right through from source to speakers add? I don’t know; but it looks like my next upgrade is going to be a dedicated phono stage so I can bypass the Linn.
I have been back and forth. In my system, I cannot fault digital, as it sounds very nice, neat, impressive, organic, and seemingly close to perfect even? With my prior phono stages and turntables, I could like/dislike things about digital and vinyl playback both. Until I got into a new transimpedance phono stage and a very upgraded (by Boothroyd) Technics 1200MK5 that I had purchased new when they disappeared back in 2010.
I have experience with 2 of the transimpedance offerings. The Sutherland Engineering Little Loco, and the yet to be released Big Loco. The former requires a good linestage to really shine, where the Big Loco has linestage built in for an all in vinyl system solution directly to amps. This has been revolutionary for me, in that even poorly recorded albums seem to transcend and sound very good. Something I cannot say for my digital, being somewhat ruthless to poor recordings. I would encourage one to look into a good turntable, low impedance MC cartridge, and these transimpedance offerings for vinyl playback at a level that I did not realize was possible.
The biggest difference between the two for me and my system is emotion. The analog does this at a level the digital cannot seem to get to. The worst part of this is knowing if the vinyl is in good shape, and an original recording, it will sound at least good. Hard not to buy a ton of records now!! The only detriment I find to my analog rig is that it is unforgiving of a poor press, and an album’s previous life.
Summing up, the digital sounds like amazing HiFi, while trying not to sound HiFi. The analog is impossible to describe in the HiFi sense. It connects with me instantly, and I cannot use HiFi descriptors at all, as in it turns off my HiFi brain completely.
Paul79 said: “Summing up, the digital sounds like amazing HiFi, while trying not to sound HiFi. The analog is impossible to describe in the HiFi sense. It connects with me instantly, and I cannot use HiFi descriptors at all, as in it turns off my HiFi brain completely.”
Couldn’t agree with paul79 more. The way he has framed the difference encapsulates to perfection how I experience the two formats. I also concur that digital is ruthless when it comes to poor recordings - they are almost unlistenable. I’ve yet to hear any vinyl that is in good condition that is unlistenable. (Newbie Disclaimer: I just returned to vinyl last month after a 30-year hiatus so haven’t heard that many records). Switching my HiFi brain back in, it’s obvious that vinyl records can’t all be perfect. So not sure if that gentleness on our ears is a big part of its appeal despite the fact it may be a form of colouration.
While I listened to a lot of music as a kid I didn’t start buying music till I started high school in the mid 80’s. Yes, as a tiny tot I listened and played records on my sisters’ record players (notice I didn’t say turntables) but the bulk of my musical experiences were tapes that I could play at home and in my diesel VW rabbit, then I switched to digital after buying my first CD player after graduating high school. Then it was digital all the way.
Around 2010 I got the itch to go vinyl, not sure if this is recent enough based on your question but this was my experience. It seemed like everyone was saying it was a better format despite the rapid advancements in digital technology, so I hopped in and gave it a shot. I had next to nothing in the way of source material and this alone was making for a very expensive introduction. After a couple of years it just boiled down to this for me: For the money ($3,000 to $4,000 or so for source equipment) I preferred the sound of digital in that price range over everything needed for analog. I also grew increasingly frustrated with the quality and price of vinyl pressings but maybe that’s changed.
I don’t know, maybe part of it for me was because I basically grew up with zero vinyl. Or maybe it’s because I listen to music made and recorded from the early 90’s to today. I don’t play much old stuff but occasionally do. Maybe I would have been enamored with a much more sophisticated and expensive table, arm, cartridge, phono preamp, cables, and let’s not forget about source material, but that list gets to my point. Vinyl can be so much more expensive than digital and it ultimately just wasn’t worth it to me in the price range I could afford. Dollar for dollar I got so much more out of digital for the sound I preferred.
Those that prefer vinyl, more power to you and I hope you enjoy every rotation! Some of us prefer digital for one reason or another. I’m in the digital camp. Happy New Year!
I'm heading in the analog direction. I have my digital side dialed in. Emm Labs DV2 directly to my Classe' CA M600's. Just ordered a Technics 1200G, it will be matched with a VDH Grail and DDT2 Special. My problem is this. I'll need to put a preamp in the chain and I don't want any pre between the DV2 and my amps. So with my infinite wisdom the only thing I could come up with is keep my XLR connected to the amps when running digital, connect an extra set of XLRs that are connected to the preamp (Classe' Sigma SSP in digital bypass) for my analog. Connect and disconnect accordingly. Passive switches suck! I do have the amps positioned for easy access to the backs, with both sets of XLRs at easy reach. Most of my listening will be digital, my intention is to dabble in the analog. Its not like I'll be switching all the time. No other real options? Is there?
Yes! Love my digital system for streaming and cd's but have put it on the shelf, along with HT to minimize chords and clutter. 3 years ago I purchased my first TT, a Technics 1200 GR. I had no vinyl. Today I own Luxman PD444, Victor TT101 along with crazy collection of vintage arms and carts. I enjoy putting on an album and listening beginning to end. Just hit 700 albums in three years. I'm addicted!
Bought a MoFi StudioDeck with the MoFi cart that it came with and an iPhono 2 with a linear power supply from AliExpress. This system was superior to my digital. Upgraded to an AT-OC9/III cart which was major upgrade. From this experience I upgraded to: Triangle Art Concerto with upgraded platter Triangle Art speed controller Reed 2A tonearm Triangle Art Zeus cart Chinese all-tube phono stage Hashimoto SUT
This setup was a very large upgrade again. It's greatly superior to my digital system which composes of the following: Custom audio PC (linear PSU, isolated SSD, battery-powered Paul Pang V3 USB card) Yggdrasil Analog 2 DAC Yaqin B-2T and sometimes a Freya as preamps
Before the Yggdrasil I had tried various DACs. The vinyl system was so much better than the digital I had to figure out if digital was worth continuing to perusing for serious listening. The main difference was dynamics: the vinyl setup produced greatly superior lifelike dynamic swings. It's very pleasing. The only area the digital was superior in was bass definition. When I added the Yggdrasil the gap finally closed, but only partially. The digital is closer but is still clearly beaten by the vinyl. Additionally I'm sure the cheap Chinese phono is holding it back. How much more do I have to spend to get digital up to par, let alone beat, my vinyl? If I have to spend $5-8k on a DAC what would happen if I spent that much on a better cart? Realistically is the vinyl always going to be ahead?
Adding a turntable can be wonderful because you have access to a lot of recordings that never made it to digital. The main thing is to find the great records to play that sound good and that is the battle. The recordings are all over the place but some of the best ever are on the command record label done in fine recording studios in New York. Fine studios also did recordings for other labels and they are still going after three generations.