For 30 years I've been combining analog records and CDs, then digital AIFF libraries and streaming services. From all these posts you can gather that I am not anti-digital. I've tried all sorts of DACs and several sounded great on the usual demo tracks.
In 'absolute terms' digital is great, the DACs are never the problem, the problem is that absolute platonic terms and real life are two different things. In real life, masters compressed to death and the general butchery that happens in the digital pipeline are the problem. Whatever...
Slowly over the years digital has disappeared from my listening room. Not intentionally but instinctively. Again and again I find myself enjoying LPs, being 'interested' in the music, the texture of sounds, the tangible presence, and having a good time when digital sounds hollow and seems to bring only listening fatigue, exasperation or simply boredom especially at low volume.
For the past two years my room has been 99% Analog, 1% being an occasional web radio, podcast or youtube discoveries.
I got rid of all screen presence too, deleted instagram, cancelled all streaming subscription from Qobuz or Tital, I haven't opened my own AIFF bit-perfect library in years. Screens. notifications, suggestions, 'likes', FoMO: Not Feng-Shui!
The move to 0% digital was accelerated by this 55Kg Acoustic Signature Triple X. It is exquisite. It sounds incredibly quiet, detailed and confident. The 12" TA-1000 tonearm works very well with Ortofon SPU cartridges. With the adaptor, the total effective mass brings the resonance frequency to exactly 10Hz. Right in the middle of the ideal range of 7-12Hz. It is also beautifully made and finished: Check out Michael Fremer's visit of Acoustic Signature.
|From SPU to TAD: Start and finish with AlNiCo magnets.|
Living in Haarlem means being spoiled with access to plenty of very good record stores (Sounds Haarlem, Concerto, Zap, Waxwell, Rush Hour !!!) but also the Record Planet Mega fair that happens twice a year and now the Haarlem Vinyl Festival (Michael Fremer was in town).
|Record Planet: Middle-aged nerds unite.|
|If you want mint first pressings of everything you have a problem.|
|But a VG+ second or third pressing might do just as well!|
|There's so much to be found.|
|A day's bounty: 100% Analog, no remastered reissues.|