Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #2476
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    Are there any Linn LP12 owners on here? I've often been curious about this turntable. I auditioned it once years ago and remember really liking it. I'm happy with my current VPI turntable, but eventually I'll be upgrading either up the VPI line or to another brand. The LP12 is crazy expensive now, especially considering all the add-ons that are available. What do you think Ken/Laser's Edge? Or anybody for that matter.
    The LP12 has had a cult following for decades. Its still a fine table but the direction of modern tables has moved away from a suspended sub-chassis design. Higher end tables tend to be non-suspended high mass design.

    I’m sure a well maintained LP12 with all the updates would serve you well if you could pick up a used one at a great price. If I were to buy a new table, dollar for dollar I would look elsewhere.

  2. #2477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    Are there any Linn LP12 owners on here? I've often been curious about this turntable. I auditioned it once years ago and remember really liking it. I'm happy with my current VPI turntable, but eventually I'll be upgrading either up the VPI line or to another brand. The LP12 is crazy expensive now, especially considering all the add-ons that are available. What do you think Ken/Laser's Edge? Or anybody for that matter.
    I suspect Ken is dead on w/ his observations and would like to have a few months to go back and forth w/ a good high mass table and a Linn. I had an LP12 w/an Ittok arm and a Koetsu black cartridge for about 15 years (which is kind of an antique rig in some circles these days). Guess i was pretty lucky that the suspension and other adjustments never really got out of whack. I spent about a year checking out like priced loaner tables before settling on this front end. The VPI, Rega and Sota tables I had were clearly not as good, (it's of course possible that the other tables were not optimally set up). With the right recording, the system i had back then was pretty intoxicating. You should be able to snag a used one w/ an Ittok arm (probably minus a cartridge) for around $2500, but you may want to get a tech who knows how to get the set up right to make sure everything is dialed in.

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    Yes, I've heard those LP12s can be quite "fussy" with regard to setup. I love my VPI but I'm thinking of supporting a local-ish manufacturer called Basis Audio. It's going to be a few years, most likely, but I'm such a vinyl junkie that I can think of no better way to piss away thousands of dollars on a 'table and arm. The only negative is that I tend to like a more traditional look when it comes to turntables and Basis, like a lot of high end brands, design tables that look like they belong in an 80s version of a futuristic sci fi film.

  4. #2479
    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    Yes, I've heard those LP12s can be quite "fussy" with regard to setup. I love my VPI but I'm thinking of supporting a local-ish manufacturer called Basis Audio. It's going to be a few years, most likely, but I'm such a vinyl junkie that I can think of no better way to piss away thousands of dollars on a 'table and arm. The only negative is that I tend to like a more traditional look when it comes to turntables and Basis, like a lot of high end brands, design tables that look like they belong in an 80s version of a futuristic sci fi film.
    One of their tables weighs 400 lbs.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  5. #2480
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    Are there any Linn LP12 owners on here? I've often been curious about this turntable. I auditioned it once years ago and remember really liking it. I'm happy with my current VPI turntable, but eventually I'll be upgrading either up the VPI line or to another brand. The LP12 is crazy expensive now, especially considering all the add-ons that are available. What do you think Ken/Laser's Edge? Or anybody for that matter.
    I always wanted a Linn. Didn't want to spend that much bread but I always loved that design. I just got a Linn 'knockoff' TT which is a Pro-Ject Classic SB. Its a totally modern table but is beautiful and sounds wonderful for my needs and was on sale for $1200. Some of the other Pro-Jects, Regas, and cheaper VPIs weren't to my taste so I went with this one. Has a Ortofon moving coil (Quintet Red) and a carbon fiber/aluminium arm. Always gets great reviews, even Fremer loved it. Anyway good luck, its so hard to choose these things without A/B-ing them.

  6. #2481
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    Yes, I've heard those LP12s can be quite "fussy" with regard to setup. I love my VPI but I'm thinking of supporting a local-ish manufacturer called Basis Audio. It's going to be a few years, most likely, but I'm such a vinyl junkie that I can think of no better way to piss away thousands of dollars on a 'table and arm. The only negative is that I tend to like a more traditional look when it comes to turntables and Basis, like a lot of high end brands, design tables that look like they belong in an 80s version of a futuristic sci fi film.
    AJ Conti, the creative force and owner of Basis passed away. He designed very nice high mass tables. I think his family is running the company.

  7. #2482
    A21+ in the house.

    Sold a record by Shellac for $999, so I pulled the trigger, got a fantastic trade up from my audio dealer (Saturday Audio).

    Definitely sings, good control, I especially notice the bass response. Really kicks the woofers. I'm hoping the stereo separation will open up as it burns in. It's a big amp. Twice the size and weight of the A23. Need to get a fan/cooler, does anyone use the AC Infinity AIRCOM S8?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  8. #2483
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    A21+ in the house.

    Sold a record by Shellac for $999, so I pulled the trigger, got a fantastic trade up from my audio dealer (Saturday Audio).

    Definitely sings, good control, I especially notice the bass response. Really kicks the woofers. I'm hoping the stereo separation will open up as it burns in. It's a big amp. Twice the size and weight of the A23. Need to get a fan/cooler, does anyone use the AC Infinity AIRCOM S8?
    Congrats ! Stereophile likes it too https://www.stereophile.com/content/...ower-amplifier.

    My Parasound 2200 HCA II had its bias set to twice as much as recommended in the diagram. I got it fixed at the upgrade, and its significantly cooler now (and will live longer).

  9. #2484
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    I've been perusing the net (largely for fun but also because I am just getting back into vinyl and just bought a new turntable and amp) for articles that discuss CD vs vinyl. There are a ton of them out there, and largely what I am getting is that digital is still superior, people are getting false hopes on how good vinyl is supposed be giving the big resurgence, vinyl's dynamic range is not as wide, etc etc. Stuff like this: https://darko.audio/2016/07/the-inco...h-about-vinyl/

    So I felt like I had to do an experiment of my own for no other reason than to see what (if any difference) I can hear - or not. I love A/Bing stuff anyway so its fun for me. I am a trained orchestral musician (an orchestra teacher for 23 years now, going on 24 in September) and I also have a jazz quartet, etc so listening is essentially what I do for a living.

    I compared Planxty "The Little Drummer" from Cold Blow in the Rainy Night (1974). I own both the CD and an original mint vinyl pressing from 1974. The tune is 3:19, and basically has one male vocalist (center), acoustic guitar right channel, Irish bouzouki left channel, and Irish tin whistle sort of off-center on occasion. I used my Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones (decent but not high-end audiophile level phones) via my Rogue's headphone amp for both the CD and vinyl.

    I started with the CD twice through:

    The vocals had a bit of "distortion" almost all the way through. The string instruments were present in both channels but it was difficult to pick up what the guitar in the right channel was doing at some points. The left channel bouzouki had more clarity for sure but not a lot of "weight" in the articulations with the pick. The biggest culprit of all was the tin whistle...almost painful it was so bright and honestly not very enjoyable. The recording was very clean (no background noise) and relatively warm.

    I then did the vinyl twice:

    Immediately the vocals were clearer. Both the guitar and the bouzouki were clearer as well and I could actually focus in on the right channel guitar much easier. The bouzouki had a hefty quality in the articulation that was clearly missing from the CD version. Truly stunning in the differences there. The biggest culprit before, the tine whistle, never annoyed me and sat in the picture beautifully balanced. The overall picture was just a smoothness, balance, and richness that the CD did not have. I truly couldn't believe the difference.

    I then went back and did each one 2 more times. A total of 8 listens of this tune. I came to the same conclusion each time. Vinyl the clear winner - or at least the one I would easily choose if I could only have one for the rest of my life. I am in no way a CD/digital hater....I own over 2,500 CDs and it has been my number one musical media for most of my life. Yes, this was one tune from one album, but I cut my teeth on the CD version of this album. The vinyl was a revelation. So I was saying to myself - OK - I am using a 20+ year old CD player with a 20+year old built in DAC, bit then I also thought - OK - the record from 1974, which is almost 50 years old(!) was the clear choice here. In that respect I almost felt like CD had failed me in a way. I obviously love CDs and continue to listen to them, now along with vinyl, and streaming....it's all important to me. But in comparing a medium in which most audio engineers say is still the best (CD/digital), to my ears it failed me in this little fun experiment. I will be doing more of this, largely for fun, but also to gain knowledge of why vinyl is still very important in 2020.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  10. #2485
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I've been perusing the net (largely for fun but also because I am just getting back into vinyl and just bought a new turntable and amp) for articles that discuss CD vs vinyl. There are a ton of them out there, and largely what I am getting is that digital is still superior, people are getting false hopes on how good vinyl is supposed be giving the big resurgence, vinyl's dynamic range is not as wide, etc etc. Stuff like this: https://darko.audio/2016/07/the-inco...h-about-vinyl/

    So I felt like I had to do an experiment of my own for no other reason than to see what (if any difference) I can hear - or not. I love A/Bing stuff anyway so its fun for me. I am a trained orchestral musician (an orchestra teacher for 23 years now, going on 24 in September) and I also have a jazz quartet, etc so listening is essentially what I do for a living.

    I compared Planxty "The Little Drummer" from Cold Blow in the Rainy Night (1974). I own both the CD and an original mint vinyl pressing from 1974. The tune is 3:19, and basically has one male vocalist (center), acoustic guitar right channel, Irish bouzouki left channel, and Irish tin whistle sort of off-center on occasion. I used my Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones (decent but not high-end audiophile level phones) via my Rogue's headphone amp for both the CD and vinyl.

    I started with the CD twice through:

    The vocals had a bit of "distortion" almost all the way through. The string instruments were present in both channels but it was difficult to pick up what the guitar in the right channel was doing at some points. The left channel bouzouki had more clarity for sure but not a lot of "weight" in the articulations with the pick. The biggest culprit of all was the tin whistle...almost painful it was so bright and honestly not very enjoyable. The recording was very clean (no background noise) and relatively warm.

    I then did the vinyl twice:

    Immediately the vocals were clearer. Both the guitar and the bouzouki were clearer as well and I could actually focus in on the right channel guitar much easier. The bouzouki had a hefty quality in the articulation that was clearly missing from the CD version. Truly stunning in the differences there. The biggest culprit before, the tine whistle, never annoyed me and sat in the picture beautifully balanced. The overall picture was just a smoothness, balance, and richness that the CD did not have. I truly couldn't believe the difference.

    I then went back and did each one 2 more times. A total of 8 listens of this tune. I came to the same conclusion each time. Vinyl the clear winner - or at least the one I would easily choose if I could only have one for the rest of my life. I am in no way a CD/digital hater....I own over 2,500 CDs and it has been my number one musical media for most of my life. Yes, this was one tune from one album, but I cut my teeth on the CD version of this album. The vinyl was a revelation. So I was saying to myself - OK - I am using a 20+ year old CD player with a 20+year old built in DAC, bit then I also thought - OK - the record from 1974, which is almost 50 years old(!) was the clear choice here. In that respect I almost felt like CD had failed me in a way. I obviously love CDs and continue to listen to them, now along with vinyl, and streaming....it's all important to me. But in comparing a medium in which most audio engineers say is still the best (CD/digital), to my ears it failed me in this little fun experiment. I will be doing more of this, largely for fun, but also to gain knowledge of why vinyl is still very important in 2020.
    One of the problems with the experiment is that there has been a quantum leap in digital playback. Compare the vinyl to a current high quality DAC. There will be differences still but I suspect a lot of the issues you are hearing with the CD will be gone. You may well still enjoy vinyl playback more but the differences will be smaller.

  11. #2486
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    I've heard similar things on old recordings transferred to digital. It seems like you heard the nice vinyl rolloff which filters most of the harshness from the analog master. The mastering back then was adapted do sound good on the end product (vinyl and tape) and direct transfers of old masters (as they often did in the early "digital days") sound quite harsh. All the phase issues in the vinyl mastering process, (de)emphasis etc contributes to an "enhanced" stereo image. Even DDA vinyl sounds nicer sometimes than the DDD copy. My impression when I had the chance to listen to the entire chain is that while the difference between an analog master tape and the vinyl was quite obvious, I could not pick out the digital copy from the same master tape. Anyway, tape deteriorates in different ways with age, which makes comparisons old analog master vs vinyl a bit skewed.
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  12. #2487
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    Both can sound superior.
    Depends on the equipment and the quality of the actual media.

  13. #2488
    If I compare a CD to a flac-rip of the same CD, the latter sounds "better" because of the equipment it's played through. Honestly, CDs are kinda worthless to me now, sure the booklets are fun, but now that I have everything digitized, I don't think I'll ever play a CD again.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  14. #2489
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Both can sound superior.
    Depends on the equipment and the quality of the actual media.
    I listen to (and own) a ton of classical CDs....I tend to prefer the clean noise floor, especially during pp or ppp moments. But I have also read that digital cannot do strings as well as vinyl, even if we are talking high-end systems for both, even hi-res digital. I honestly don't own a lot of large scale symphonic music on LP so its difficult for me A/B music like this. Last night's littke experiment was actually shocking for me, I was expecting the opposite coming from vinyl: slight vocal distortion with less instrumental detail and less dynamic range. Nope...that was my Rotel CD player.

    Ken I'm sure you are correct in that my DAC is obsolete in that unit. But now what path should I take going forward? I still love classical on CD and own a lot, so do I eventually upgrade a CD player with a better DAC and possible bluetooth capability to stream higher res stuff like Tidal, etc or is there a better choice involving digital that I am not aware of? I only do 2-channel stereo, no surround and I don't own any SACD or DVD A.

  15. #2490
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I listen to (and own) a ton of classical CDs....I tend to prefer the clean noise floor, especially during pp or ppp moments. But I have also read that digital cannot do strings as well as vinyl, even if we are talking high-end systems for both, even hi-res digital. I honestly don't own a lot of large scale symphonic music on LP so its difficult for me A/B music like this. Last night's littke experiment was actually shocking for me, I was expecting the opposite coming from vinyl: slight vocal distortion with less instrumental detail and less dynamic range. Nope...that was my Rotel CD player.

    Ken I'm sure you are correct in that my DAC is obsolete in that unit. But now what path should I take going forward? I still love classical on CD and own a lot, so do I eventually upgrade a CD player with a better DAC and possible bluetooth capability to stream higher res stuff like Tidal, etc or is there a better choice involving digital that I am not aware of? I only do 2-channel stereo, no surround and I don't own any SACD or DVD A.
    I'm assuming you don't want to make a large investment but I have no idea what kind of a budget you have. As long as your CD player has a digital output I would keep it, use it as a transport and send the signal to an outboard DAC. Plenty to choose from. If you give me a budget perhaps I can make some suggestions.

  16. #2491
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    I'm assuming you don't want to make a large investment but I have no idea what kind of a budget you have. As long as your CD player has a digital output I would keep it, use it as a transport and send the signal to an outboard DAC. Plenty to choose from. If you give me a budget perhaps I can make some suggestions.
    So my 20+ year old Rotel (RCD 951) plays perfectly - however - there is now an issue with the CD tray not always ejecting when I power on the thing. It sometimes takes me 5+ tries to get the tray open, and sometimes I need to give it a bit of a slight shove to make it happen. Super annoying. I am thinking about leaving it ON permanently since once it's on it's fine (is that a bad idea besides the obvious environmental ramifications?). So unless I repair it, I think using this particular machine as a transport is like using a car with 185k miles on it.....yeah it works, but am I gonna get stranded?

    I guess I could look at two scenarios: a) keeping it as a transport and adding a current DAC or b) basically starting from scratch. Budget wise - I guess I would like to keep it at around $1k if possible, but of course if there is a machine that is like $1.3k and is light-years ahead of the other, I could be persuaded to pull the trigger (or more like can my wife be persuaded) . I just bought a new amp and TT so this is not gonna happen right now anyway, but it will eventually. I also see myself going vinyl from here forward, along with higher-res streaming, with the occasional CD purchase. Thanks for any insight though Ken (or anyone).
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  17. #2492
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    If I compare a CD to a flac-rip of the same CD, the latter sounds "better" because of the equipment it's played through. Honestly, CDs are kinda worthless to me now, sure the booklets are fun, but now that I have everything digitized, I don't think I'll ever play a CD again.
    The CD is like the old floppies, zip discs, et cetera, et cetera. It's nothing more than a container for digital information. The value of an original CD is like the value of original installation floppies for a particular program. It's also easy to counterfeit a CD, many of which are sold on Amazon. Try counterfeiting a vinyl record.
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  18. #2493
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    So my 20+ year old Rotel (RCD 951) plays perfectly - however - there is now an issue with the CD tray not always ejecting when I power on the thing. It sometimes takes me 5+ tries to get the tray open, and sometimes I need to give it a bit of a slight shove to make it happen. Super annoying. I am thinking about leaving it ON permanently since once it's on it's fine (is that a bad idea besides the obvious environmental ramifications?). So unless I repair it, I think using this particular machine as a transport is like using a car with 185k miles on it.....yeah it works, but am I gonna get stranded?

    I guess I could look at two scenarios: a) keeping it as a transport and adding a current DAC or b) basically starting from scratch. Budget wise - I guess I would like to keep it at around $1k if possible, but of course if there is a machine that is like $1.3k and is light-years ahead of the other, I could be persuaded to pull the trigger (or more like can my wife be persuaded) . I just bought a new amp and TT so this is not gonna happen right now anyway, but it will eventually. I also see myself going vinyl from here forward, along with higher-res streaming, with the occasional CD purchase. Thanks for any insight though Ken (or anyone).
    I have to be honest - I don't have much direct knowledge at the budget end of the spectrum. Based on my friend's experience with Schitt I would recommend looking at their Gugnir DAC. Its only $899 and they have a 15 day return policy. I've heard their more expensive Yggdrasil DAC in a friend's system and it provides a lot of bang for the buck. Perhaps there is a trickle down into the Gugnir. Another company to check out is Mytek. They have an inexpensive DAC called Liberty. Seems to be getting good reviews.

  19. #2494
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    Ok thanks Ken. My buddy has a Schiit Modi and really digs it.

  20. #2495
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    Comparing a vinyl pressing to a CD pressing of the same album is meaningless unless both have been mastered the same. Sure, you can get a sense of which might be better but rarely are the CD and vinyl mastered the same, so you're not truly comparing apples to apples.

    In my experience I've heard both mediums sound great where their counterpart didn't sound good at all.
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  21. #2496
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    My buddy has a Schiit Modi and really digs it.
    I have a friend who has one, and he says it's the Schitt.

  22. #2497
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    That Darko character seems to love thst company. They have established a name for themselves....

  23. #2498
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    Comparing a vinyl pressing to a CD pressing of the same album is meaningless unless both have been mastered the same. Sure, you can get a sense of which might be better but rarely are the CD and vinyl mastered the same, so you're not truly comparing apples to apples.

    In my experience I've heard both mediums sound great where their counterpart didn't sound good at all.
    Have to agree. Most of the time analog recordings that i dug on vinyl several decades ago are a real let down on CD. It seems that there are several possible reasons for this. Long story short, a CD is not always better than a vinyl record and vice versa, (there are hundreds of post 90's CD releases that sound fantastic on even decent mid fi systems). Pretty sure I'm not alone in thinking that someone is really dropping the ball most of the time when old analog recordings get released on CD. It's frustrating, but getting a really good turntable and re-buying Lps so i can re-experience bad pressings, and the anxiety associated w/ vinyl and stylus fragility does not sound like a great option.

  24. #2499
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    I have a friend who has an older Sony SACD player but with the digital output.
    He bought a Hegel integrated amp (200 watts, dont recall the model) with built in DAC - He kept the Sony and uses the DAC in the Hegel.
    It sounds so much better.

  25. #2500
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I have a friend who has one, and he says it's the Schitt.
    I had one as well, excellent value.
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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