Sony Unveils LP Turntables for High-Resolution Audio Era

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ronjor, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2016/01/07/sony-unveils-lp-turntables-for-high-resolution-audio-era/
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Too bad when asked about prices, the Sony rep ignored her. :(
     
  3. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    Interesting, but I would think that audiophiles with a vinyl collection already have a decent (if not high-end) turntable.
    With the addition of a USB Phono Preamp & some software, you can achieve the same results for relatively small $.
    (I've been slowly digitizing my vinyl collection over the last couple years.)
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    The thing is, this TT lets your connect directly to your computer (or phone) and converts the analog from the LP to digital. Yes, you can do that with the device you said, but this is said to offer better quality sound (of course, that may just be marketing fluff).

    And of course too, there are most likely many who put away their old TTs years ago and now want something new. I fell into that category after my dad passed and I picked up his collection of old LPs.

    And finally, not sure if you have visited a "record" store recently, but there is a resurgence of vinyl and many brand new albums are being "cut" and released, as well as old music that previous only came out on CD being remastered for vinyl. Interesting times for vinyl lovers.
     
  5. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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  7. Krysis

    Krysis Registered Member

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    I'm somewhat bemused at this resurgence of LPs. I dumped my LP collection (several hundred) many years ago after my turntable terminated. I couldn't even give the damn things away! I never did like the medium – a metal pin dragging around a groove in a disk - one bump of the arm – and the track is ruined!

    The only thing I liked about LPs was the size of the album covers – truly an artform in themselves.
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Indeed. Back in the day, I never had the money for high-end turntables, so high frequencies started disappearing after the first few plays. And I could never keep albums clean enough. So my practice was to play copies on tape. That also eliminated low end feedback at high volume :)
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I donno. My dad was into true "high fidelity" audio reproduction and back in the mid to late 60's, he got me to appreciate it too. Nothing like listening to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida being played on a Dual 1019 turntable and Shure V15 Type II cartridge through a pair of Acoustic Research AR-3 speaker systems being pushed by a high-end Scott amp.

    "Metal pin dragging around a groove" is hardly an accurate description. A good, properly balanced tonearm and cartridge typically place just 1 to 1.5 grams of downward force in the groove by the highly polished diamond (not metal) stylus. And that force is split evenly against the two sides of the groove. Yeah, there's still friction and wear and tear, but not as immediate as some would suggest - even after a bump.

    My first "permanent station" duty assignment in the Air Force was Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal in 1972 - 1973. The Azores are tiny islands 900 miles off the coast of Portugal. Basically, a dot in the Atlantic Ocean with a flightline cutting it in half. I spent two months of pay ($400) to buy my first set of audiophile quality speakers, the venerable upgrade to my dad's AR-3, the AR-3a speaker system. Fortunately, they had what they called "Audio Clubs" overseas back then where we could get the latest in audio gear at huge discounts. The major makers offered huge discounts because they knew we would all return to the states and show off our equipment to more potential buyers.

    And on top of the manufacturers discounts, because we were overseas and these Audio Clubs were "non-profit" organizations, the products were also duty, tariff and tax free. I lived in the barracks and ate in the chow hall and could walk to work so I needed very little spending money. It was hard, but boy were those speakers worth it.

    The upgrade to the Bose 901 just came out and many were clamoring to them because of their spacial dispersion and SPL (volume levels). But when the Bose fanboys came to my room and actually listened to my ARs and noted the clarity, the pinpoint location of individual instruments across the "sound stage" and the deep, deep, really deep distortion-free bass from the ARs acoustic suspension woofers, several traded off their Bose for ARs. :)

    Yeah, dust and scratches are always a concern so eventually I sequestered myself to my barracks room again and bought a nice Teac reel-to-reel. I would buy a new album, then record it at 15 IPS (15 inches per second was considered high speed for the best quality). So I still have many classic albums that have only been played 2 or 3 times!

    Digitally recorded music will always have a stepped waveform, no matter how fast the "sample rate". There is no such thing as "digital sound". Sound is analog. Period. So listening to an analog recording over high quality analog reproduction equipment does indeed present a unique (compared to today's digital formats) and enjoyable listening experience.
     
  10. Securon

    Securon Registered Member

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    Good Afternoon! Bill Bright! an Amazing trip down memory lane...when 2 Ch Audio rained supreme! I worked as a Salesman for some of Toronto's Premium Retailers starting in 79 through 95. My first turntable was a Thorens TD-160 with a Stanton 681ee cartridge...coupled with a Marantz 1060 Integrated Amp...and JBL L-26 speakers. Living in a Apartment at the time meant size over sonics...Lol! I progressed to owing a British Rega 3 Table using a Shure V-15-5 Cartridge...being in the Industry meant Deep Discounts...now with the resurgence in Vinyl, I'm thinking of purchasing either a Basic Thorens or the British Project Essential Turntable fitted with an Ortofon Om 5 Cartridge...but will ungrade to an Ortofon Om-10 Cartridge...an Audible improvement in terms of Soundstage and Imaging! I'm envious of you owning a pair of Legendary Ar 3 A's...ironically I eventually owned a pair of Ar-91 three way Speakers a superb pair Sonically...but due to their size and still residing in a Apartment I could never push them to the levels that fully revealed their Sonic Capabilities. I'm currently using a pair of B&W 601 S-2 Speakers with A Pioneer Elite A-20 Integrated Amp and a Denon DCM-460 5 disc CD Changer. I'm really looking forward to revisiting Vinyl since I still have Two Milk Cartons of LP's awaiting replays. Now the jewel I need to have cleaned especially the tone controls that emit static is my Arcam A9 Integrated Amp...sometime this year. As a Footnote, the Pioneer is a real gem of an amp...not in the same league as the Arcam...but none the less a truly astonishing feat from Pioneer...and at $300...I think it's one of the best buys in all of Audio. I'll eventually use it in a set up with my PC and a pair of Audio Engine Speakers and maybe just maybe resurrect an old Dual 505 T-Table I bought at a Yard Sale for $15.00...Lol! Wow! What a blast from the past..The New England Sound...Featuring AR..Advent...KLH...EPI...Bose. Mate them with Amplification from Phase Linear...Marantz...Adcom.. MacIntosh...or Crown... or SAE...you were guaranteed a one way ticket too Sonic Nirvana...Lol! And to think all the Amps were made in America. Real Sound, not the Plastic Rubbish being passed off as Audio today. It's our responsibility; to inject our Love of True 2 Channel Quality Sound to the New Generation of Audio Seekers! All the best...Sincerely...Securon
     
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Good stuff there. I just wish my ears were as good as my desires. Being in my 60s does not help. Working 25 years next to a flightline made it worse. Of course all the loud rock and roll was just ear candy! ;)

    Mentioning Phase Linear reminded me of another story. The late, great Julian Hirsch was doing a review on the Phase Linear 700 (350W per channel, 20 to 20KHz @ .09% maximum distortion). Anyway, at the end of the test, he want to test the protection circuits PL bragged about extensively in the marketing materials - claiming no way this super high-power amp could destroy a set of speakers should it somehow fail catastrophically.

    So Julian put the amp on a huge set of dummy loads, cranked up the amp to full gain, stuck two big screw drivers on the output terminals and cross touched them together.

    He heard an extremely loud bang, was nearly blinded by a huge flash of light and flying sparks. The amp shut down and when he could open his eyes, the two screwdrivers were thoroughly welded together. As he stood their in awe at the glowing hot, fused screwdrivers, the amp made a little "click" and started pushing out 350W per channel from 20 to 20KHz @ .09% distortion again as if nothing ever happened. :)

    I built my first serious pre-amp, a Dynaco PAT-4. Used it push a Marantz 240 power amp. Those AR-3a speakers were 4ohm and could really suck up the power, but that Marantz could deliver - with more than enough of oomph to really **** off those Bose 901 fans. :D
     
  12. Securon

    Securon Registered Member

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    Good Afternoon! Bill...a Classic Recollection...of the Quality that was a Hallmark of Real Audio reproduction. I also forgot Hafler Amps and pre-amps,,,they also sold kits that the serious music lover could save money on...similar to Heathkits Philosophy...but superior in build and Sonic's. Marantz built in Chatsworth California...in the Mid 70's made some serious products especially their Amps...Pre-Amps...and Tuners. They were the first company I believe too introduce an Oscilloscope on their tuners...so you could call the engineer at your local FM station...to let them know they weren't broadcasting in Stereo...that's how Accurate and Accomplished the Quality of the Product was. In my opinion...Bose were a Marketing Concept...more than a Quality Speaker Manufacturer. AR...produced the LST Speaker that looked exactly like the Bose 901 but were Superior in Sonic's...unfortunately they were very in-efficient and the majority of Consumers couldn't afford the Amplification needed to power them,and they were pulled from production after a couple of years on the market. Dynaco made some very affordable Amps and Pre-Amps...can't recollect that they made Tuners.Dynaco I believe integrated a Tuner as a part of one of their Pre-Amps,not sure if they manufactured Separate Tuners. It just occurred to me that we were Super Fortunate to have been Participants in the World Of Audio's finest moments. Amazing Memories! Sincerely...Securon
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yeah, not sure I would buy a Marantz today. Not the same quality as back then.

    I really wanted to get the AR LSTs but they were out of my budget. They used the same drivers as the AR-3a, only more of them. And yeah, they were power hungry, but that was not much a concern back then.
     
  14. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Just the turntable, back in there day good ones could spin & control wow & flutter well. Where you need improvement is the cartridge ceramic goes to magnetic. Is that good enough for today hi res? If your using old records then the tech is in the cartridge needle, not the spin wow & flutter.

    I've transferred more than 1000 LP's to CD, generally it not worth the effort.
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Why? Because I don't agree. But that does depend on what other media is available and how the original recording was mastered - not to mention the condition of the LP. I replaced many of my favorite LPs with CD as they were released. But not all LP were re-released on CD so if you want the music digitized, you have no choice but to do it yourself.
     
  16. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    MHO: If you're using a decent / high end turntable w/ good tonearm & decent MM or MC cartridge, and decent preamp, I find digital recordings close to indistinguishable from analog (when recorded at lossless, or close to it).
    The format is much more convenient for playback, plus it saves your archived vinyl.
     
  17. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Well! Finding pristine vinyl was/is not par for the course, + dirt & handling can easily interfere. iTunes & Amazon, have just about everything in MP3, for those rare items not found, then Ok! Transfer. Plus pops, hisses etc are exaggerated going vinyl to cd.

    Another reason, often times you/ I would buy & LP for one or two songs, it's more convenient, for me to replace the one or two with MP3's. Turntables are ancient history, being re-introduced, retro seeking to be in vogue.

    I'll admit there's still allot of vinyl heads out there, so for them it's worthwhile. You can argue the better sound from tubes vs transistors. Hollywood CA, has a store called 'Amoeba Records', they will buy from you, your stack of wax. The store is the size of a Home Depot! I've sold hundreds of LP's to them.

    Geez! I've also got hundreds of CD's, never used, If I want the songs, import to iTunes. Come to think of it I very rarely use my blu ray player anymore. That used to be a big hobby for me also, copying ... Gave that up as well!

    Does transfer from vinyl to cd violate DRM? I know it's not encrypted but...?

    Have fun here: http://www.amoeba.com/ The posters & handbills for concerts are real $20 - 1000, amazing
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  18. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No. That all has been re-addressed. While Sony Records and others would like you to believe you cannot make copies you can IF you copy it for your personal use only. But that means only you can listen to that song from any media at any given time. That is, you cannot listen to the LP in the living room and your wife to the CD in the car. It also means if you sell or give away the original source (the LP), you must destroy all the copies you made. And of course, you cannot make copies and sell them or give them away either.

    BTW, I hear David Bowie albums are already in high demand. RIP. :(