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Letters

This is the Analog Lovers letters section. I receive many e-mail letters, I read them all completely, and respond in a timely manner. Well-written letters that bring up interesting topics and observations that I feel may be of interest to readers will be published here. If I feel something is controversial I will note so in my comments which follow the letter (if needed) in Italics. A big warm thanks to all.  Teresa 

December 22, 2007

I Liked your recent informative "Pure Power Orch" classical list. What is the record label format/source ?
regards, Alex

For many of these works you can find out want version I have by looking in my recordings link which is listed alphabetically by Composer or Title.  Some of the other Power Orchestral works don't show up in that list as they are on self made cassette tapes and not listed with my pre-recorded media.  I didn't want to list what versions I owned as most of the recordings we love are out of print and I didn't want to narrow anyones choices. Teresa

November 29, 2007

Hi wow another woman into vinyl, this is great to hear. I enjoy and have been reading you website.  Note new technique I am now recording my records on to a Polaroid DVD DVR recorder, you have to feed some video in also I have played about 200 records in the past few weeks and there they are all on the machine ready to play back from hard drive in a moment!!!  They can also be duped to a DVD!!  I am experiementing with ways to rip the audio out of the DVDS created or I just bring the machine to my computer and feed the lines in.  If I get new sound card I can run the spdif from the Polaroid to the spdif of the soundcard.;  This process records the vinyl into LPCM which is a high res DVD audio format.  I have 4000 records !!!  LD Pierce

I am glad you enjoyed my website. WOW you have 4,000 LPs! I also can burn DVDs on my new MAC mini, the only thing I have recorded so far are a couple of 24/96 PCM hi rez downloads and three music videos at 44.1kHz using Apple lossless.  Problem is they won't play in my Yamaha Universal player so I have only played them in my computer using Sennheiser headphones and a small 15 inch LCD monitor.  I am looking into other software.  I have no plans to record my LPs.  Teresa

November 20, 2007

Hi, I have just stumbled across your website and I was pleasantly surprised. I have know that vinyl is making a comeback. I have seen evidence of this in the UK and I was surprised that many young people are interested in the format which seems promising.

I have also read about your Tape Project and I was really excited by this. I have always been a reel to reel fan. I was introduced quite early as a kid when my father purchased an Akai 4000D in 1970.  The sound quality from it was pretty good actually. I still have all my father’s tapes and seem to be in good condition considering they were in storage for some years as I had moved away.

I had got caught up in the digital era with music on my pc, but it lacks the quality of analogue. So I recently bought an Akai 4000DS and serviced it. It just sounds amazing compared to digital. Sadly it hasn’t got the 15 ips speed but maybe eventually I can get a deck with that speed. I have an original 2 track stereo tape of Henry Mancini and the tape manufactured by Tempotape in the UK. It does play on my 4 track without any loss, even though I would have thought there would be some loss of sound as my deck is a 4 track.

Do you think that reel to reel machines may make a comeback in manufacture? It would be good if that was to happen.
   
Thanks for a great website, Best Regards, William Snow

Thanks for your letter and I am glad you enjoyed my web site. "The Tape Project" is not mine it's the brainchild of Doc B. and Paul Stubblebine. http://www.tapeproject.com/

The fastest playing speed on my Reel to Reel is also 7 1/2 IPS and I collect 4 Track 7 1/2 IPS tapes. I would love to be able to play 15 IPS and to be able to afford "The Tape Project" superb recordings. But alas these are too expensive for my budget.

Professional analog Reel to Reel machines are still being made and there will likely be more but I do not believe consumer Reel to Reel will make a comeback, even cassette is on it's deathbed. As far as future new analog recordings are concerned my hope lies with the LP, I wish it were not so. I still recommend both Reel to Reel and Cassette for lovers of analog sound as the number of recordings, replacement machines and parts are still very available on the Internet. eBay seems to be the place for pre-recorded Reel to Reels just be careful. Bid low unless the seller offers has auditioned the tapes and offers a money back guarantee! Teresa

November 11, 2007

NOTE: Here is Joaquim's Blog in English http://vinylinvein.blogspot.com/ 

Hi Teresa, thanks for your quick response, I had one of my blogs translated in english, a translation of the main blog VINILNAVEIA - "VINILINVEIN". The adress is http://vinylinvein.blogspot.com/ is the link. You'll enjoy it.  You site is very instructive as has things that mine didn't have. I'll put the link of your site in my blog.  Step by step people will discovering analog sound and getting out of the state of anesthesia done by the digital industry media. The signal of this is the sales of Decks Reel-to-Reel in Mercado Livre (something as eBay), people are buying these decks and looking for technicians for putting them in order 100%. I have a techniciam e I'm enjoying too much my AKAI 4000DS. Ando of course, my 470 vinys LP's! Um grande abraço, Joaquim

November 7, 2007

I am a lover of analog sound, especially vinyl and reel tapes.

Hi Teresa! Your name is very common here in Brasil, so I feel myself familiar writing to you.   I love vinyl's sound, his appearance, the photos he brings, his cultural texts, and everything it has. I usually to say, "vinyl is the sound wave materialized in your hands", without lost!   I studied one year and did a technical blog named "vinilnaveia" (it means vinyl in vein, vinyl is may blood... rs rs) The blog site is http://vinilnaveia.blogspot.com and it's has a translate into English (but very poor, sorry; and don't accompain the actualization’s of the Portuguese blog). In my blog I compare vinyl recordings with CD recordings, in deep cientifical abordation. On the final of the blog, I have other analog blogs - http://limpezadevinis.blogspot.com and http://omundodesconhecidodoaudioanalogico.blogspot.com and others. Nice to know your site, very technical and informative and beautiful!  Bye, Joaquim Martins Cutrim, Niterói - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil.

November 1, 2007

Hi Teresa,

I think it's about time now that there is a magazine/publication dedicated for analog music lovers - and not a combination of 'mostly digital plus some analog', like what we have now with Stereophile or Absolute Sound. Hey, maybe you can start this project! I am sure there are more and more people interested in the analog sound. The young generation needs to know about this genre of music for they are brought up into digital music/ipod generation.

I have an entry-level Rega1 turntable in my office, and many of young people works here do not know about this analog music! Never seen and never heard, though they are mesmerized by the sound of my turntable and Bellari tube phono amp. This system is all entry levels and does not have to be very expensive. They are so surprised to see this big new album of Norah Jones 12.5X12.5 inches with a clear picture! Wow!

This publication magazine can also introduce many analog industries through the advertisements and spread the curiosity, experience and knowledge on how to enjoy rich analog sound.

What should we call the magazine?
Maybe something like: ANALOG MANIA, ANALOG FREAK or ANALOG LOVERS, ANALOG MUSIC

There are many topics to cover:

How to start enjoying vinyl sound for beginners
Articles about beginning turntables, tape reel/reel

How to buy vintage reel to reel?

The difference between digital vs analog sound

Vinyl reviews (forget about CD reviews!)

Reviews turntables, cartridges, phono amps

Analog and tube sound

What do you have to know about vacuum tube sound?

How to match tubes to your gear?

Where to buy vinyl LP?

What companies started producing vinyl sound again?

Entry level analog music

Advance level turntables and analog gears

Your experience with vinyl sound

Etc, etc


What do you think?

James

Hi James,

This all sounds great to me. This is by far the most enthusiastic letter on the subject of analog I have ever gotten and have added it to my letters page. Do you think it should be print or online? We would need writers and a regular schedule.

On another subject I am in the process of closing all my online accounts and going off the Internet. This is because I do not want to spend the money needed to upgrade my computer or the extra monthly fees for DSL or cable, the $9.95 I pay for dial-up is more than I want to spend. What has happened is one of my credit cards was compromised, my credit card company reversed all the charges and recommended an Identify Protection Plan. But its software extremely slows down my Internet experience and I refuse to pay for faster Internet or for a faster computer with more memory. No the computer I have now I plan to keep until either it or I die.

I am planing on turning the best parts of my web site into a handbook for analog listening. What do you think?

I love all the article suggestions for the first issue of ANALOG LOVERS (?). I am gladdened that Analog is making a comeback.

Teresa, AnalogLovers.com

September 20, 2007

Hi I have a question concerning the 4 track tape.  I bought one vintage and had it play at someone's place who is selling revox players.  We could hear the two sides of the tape playing at the same time and he said that for 4 track I needed a specific 4 track player and he also said that the quality of the 4 track is much lower.

What do you recommend? - 4 track tapes and a 4 track player (which one would you recommend?) - or 2 track tapes.  Pierre-Alain 

P.S. : It's after reading your website that I became interested in reel to reel.

Yes 2 Track Reel to Reel is superior to 4 Track as it uses twice the width of the tape so has twice as many magnetic particles to define the music.  You cannot play 4 Track tapes on a 2 Track deck as the left channel will get the left forward and the right reverse playing backwards.   And on the right channel you will get the right forward and the left reverse playing backwards.  So you have to have a 4 Track deck to play a 4 track tape. I have two 4 track decks a Dokordor and Realistic (made by Teac) as there are more pre-recorded Reels in 4 Track and they are less expensive.   However 2 Track is superior.  Teac is the best choice overall as most parts are still available from Teac/Tascam.  The Revox's are excellent but can be very expensive to repair.  The Technics 1500 series can be had with both 2 track and 4 track heads so you can play both but they sell for a lot on eBay.  Teresa

September 19, 2007

Hi, I'm just writing to say your website rocks. Thanks! - Maria

September 8, 2007

I am looking for reel to reel tapes by ragtime pianist, Del Wood. She recorded seven albums for RCA Victor between 1955-1962. Her first stereo recording was made in 1958. All five of her living stereo albums for RCA was released on 7.5 ips reel to reel tape. I have only been able to locate and purchase one so far. If anyone has any Info. on this subject please let me know. Thanks, Brad

If anyone knows where Brad can find Del Wood's Reel to Reels please email: music@AnalogLovers.com 

August 28, 2007 - Tom Port 2

Hi Teresa,In reply to some of your observations.

Yes, it is rather sad..Like yourself, I do not agree with his Simply Vinyl record label choice. I had all the SV Nick Drake’s ..clean pristine pressings, but cold, brrrrrr...sounding vinyl slabs. Shame about the digital source..If I had know before about SV mastering etiquette..I would have saved lots of hard-earned cash !

I got a third of my money back part exchange on them, and traded them in for the much later seventies Island (sky blue/yellow logo label) "Bryter Layter" vinyl version, far superior "analogue" sonics imo ( just have to get "Five Leaves Left" & "Pink Moon"now ;~)

I am looking forward to all the new Gray/Hoffman-Warner vinyl titles "HMV" in the UK are selling the G/H-Warner"s for just under 30 pounds(import)..that’s about 50.00 US...a little pricey ..but peanuts compared to what Tom Port charges ! Best wishes, Alex

August 27, 2007

 Hi Teresa, I read your letters in AudioAsylum, and agree with what you say regarding Tom Port...A couple of months ago he wrote a long letter in SH forums (which was quickly deleted, I may add ;-). that basically said Steve Hoffman"s new Warner vinyl version of Joni Mitchell’s "Blue" sucked.and that fans of that album were better of with one of his hot stampers (natch)..or the DCC gold CD disc version. (that letter I believe is still on his website)

He must be pretty angry that there is a lot of new vinyl esp/ from Warners/Rhino in the capable remastering hands of Grey/Hoffman. It is great the consumer has options in the 21stC regarding a less costly route to sonic nirvana, than his xxx bucks cold stone immaculate stampers.  Best Regards,Alex

Excellent letter and it shows what a fraud and opportunist Tom Port is, hawking his Hot Stampers on Steve Hoffman’s web site. Let’s see a Steve Hoffman mastered pure virgin Vinyl 180 Gram LP versus and Steve Hoffman mastered Gold CD? That is a no brainer, maybe WB isn’t letting Tom sell their LPs or the margins are too low for him. But by recommending a Gold CD over an audiophile LP mastered by the same person Tom Port is showing his true colors.  Teresa

May 30, 2007

Just read your informative "Multiple Formats" article. Very interesting ...thanks!  Will you rediscover 8 track TAPE in the near future, I wonder if there is any sonic marvels to be found in that format? Alex

I’m glad you enjoyed the article! 8-Track is not looming in the near future but who knows? I have been reading many interesting discussions of 8-track’s sound quality. The thing that would bother me is songs being split in half, faded down then the click for the program change and faded back up again. Plus 8-Tracks repair issues, but I’m not ruling it out. Teresa

May 24, 2007

Hey I just wanted you to know how big a fan I am of analogue and of your site. I recently got a Pentium 4 PC and hooked it up to my tape deck and turntable so I could enjoy my music during my commute. This weekend, I received a reel to reel tape deck! I am so excited to play with it. It came with manuals and books and both blank tapes and commercial tapes. I also got an 8-track tape player and tapes. I will be hitting the thrift stores and yard sales to add to my new collection. Hell, my turntable even has a setting for 78’s. Soon, I will be the king of the analogue preservation! Chris

April 8, 2007

Thank you …. Keep up the good work.............love your site !!! I am just curious, have you ever transferred vinyl to the REEL tape domain either at 7-1/2 ips or 15ips ? … Alex

I have transferred Vinyl to 7 ½ IPS, cassette and DAT. I am not entirely happy with the results of any preferring to listen to Vinyl directly from the LP. At 7 ½ IPS on the best Vinyl there is a lessening of transit detail, I suppose going to 15 IPS might cure this. I’m glad you enjoy the site! I will also be writing articles for "Positive Feedback Online". Teresa

April 5, 2007

Blue ray is going to be the next big hot format of the future? I don't think so, not with gas prices soaring above or close to $4.00 a gallon. Gas is now past the $3.00 mark. I think the vast majority of people will want to drive their cars instead of watching a new expensive video format. This might kill every format on the marker including mp3 and ipods. Food cost more too. Shall I starve to death so I can see a little more peach fuzz with blue ray? Tim 

March 25, 2007


I lurk in the VA and stumbled upon your website.  You say something about Laser Disc being analogue of sorts. In the earlier years of DVD, I bought a Sony unit. One movie I had on Laser Disc but couldn't find on DVD was "Reservoir Dogs". When I finally got it on DVD, I was disappointed in the picture quality. The "outdated" Laser Disc killed it. If what you say is true then it gives me some peace about my sanity.  Just wanted to pick your brain. Jimmy

Jimmy your sanity is intact, as the general consensus is that LaserDisc is usually visual superior to DVD in nearly every title. Also everyone agrees that both the CX decoded analog soundtrack and the 44.1kHz linear PCM in LaserDiscs is also superior to DVD using either Dolby Digital or DTS in 2 channel stereo. LaserDisc failed to capture the market because of size and playing time. With a maximum of playing time of 1 hour per side many movies had to be spread out on two discs, three sides. Whereas DVD will play up to 4 hours on a single side.

March 16, 2007

Thanks for a great site! I have articles I'd like to work up and submit for your consideration one-day, but time is the issue. This is - in the hopefully interim - just to say thanks for a fascinating site. Long may it last. Quite apart from the specifics re music I really appreciate your overall approach to aesthetics which comes through. Mark

I am glad you enjoyed the web site and thanks for the kind words. Yes I will gladly publish any well-written articles and reviews on anything analog.

March 13, 2007

So you want to venture off into super audio a third time? I did this experiment two times and I came back home to analog to stay. Years ago I bought Sony’s first 5 disk carousel player. I don't remember the model number but it was a good sounding player when played with DSD disk. But not with red book CDs. I bought a John Williams’ "the magic box" hybrid CD for this player. Track 7 and 12 sounded very similar to analog. A few years after this I bought another Sony single disk player. I don't remember the model number. It sounded similar to analog. I bought a Panasonic 24bit 192khz player. DSD had the best sound. The only problem I had the disk cost $16 each. This is too much. I can buy used music at the record store for a fraction of this price. I noticed that pure analog makes me more happy and gives me more joy to my soul. In a blind a/b test I can tell if it is red book or analog less than 30 seconds. With DSD it takes me about 3 minutes of time. Tim

I believe pure analog makes us happier because we are listening to a reproduction of the actual waveform of the original musical instruments, voices and recording space. In digital: music must be translated from analog to digital code and back to analog again, this is what I believe causes stress in the human body.

To my ears DSD is the least destructive of all digital but it is still digital. If Telarc made 100% pure analog LPs I would have no need for digital. Teresa

February 28, 2007

New Music - Here are some more good cassettes. From Swing out sister. Get in touch with your self. It's better to traver. and Kaleidoscope world. These records were especially devoted to analog. One of my favorite tunes is incomplete without you. These records have soul. I strongly recommend the analog versions. The CDs are duds. Tim

February 25, 2007

You might think DVD would be superior to laser disk because it has 500 lines of resolution compared to 425 for laser disk. 75 more lines will not give you a better picture. "All lines of resolution are not created equal." A digital video line of resolution gets sliced and diced when it goes through all those microprocessor chips during the analog to digital conversion process. The video signal comes out fragmented. This is why DVD has artifacts. More over the law of diminishing returns sets in fast when it comes to lines of resolution. This might help explain why super audio sounds better than 16 bit CD. The audio gets less processed. Analog sources have little or no processing. Tim

Thanks again Tim for the excellent observations. I do regret selling my LaserDisc player many moons ago, but I sold it when I sold dumped my CDs the second time. The problem I have with LaserDisc is just as the Analog soundtracks were sounding great thanks to CX encoding, Dolby Digital came along and used the right channel of the Analog soundtrack making the Analog soundtracks on new LaserDiscs mono. This killed LaserDisc for me as I now had a choice of:

  1. Analog mono
  2. 44.1kHz Digital stereo
  3. Dolby Digital surround

Whereas the LaserDisc format I loved had:

  1. Analog Stereo (always)
  2. 44.1kHz Digital Stereo (sometimes)

And I always found the Analog stereo soundtracks to sound superior to the Digital, and felt robbed when LaserDisc took away one of the Analog channels to squeeze on Dolby Digital. To say I was pissed was an understatement!

If LaserDisc could be revived I would want it all analog, video and sound. Teresa

February 23, 2007

… I bought the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser last night. I'll be putting it to use tonight. As for The BZT Weekly it's, hence the name, a weekly music show. It spans all kinds of genres. Rock, folk, some twang, punk, funk, from the 60's through current. I started doing the show back in late 2003 and am on show #178 currently. It was born out of what I used to call the Audio Bullshit Of The Day on my website. Basically, I'd turn on a mic and yap away. One night for who knows what reason, I decided to do nothing but music and play DJ to it. And, I just kept on doing it. My girlfriend Jenny eventually joined me on a regular basis. She plays what she wants and I play what I want and from time to time, our contrast of musical taste and choices creates magic. The show runs about 79 minutes each week. I've recently switched over to formatting the shows in Ogg Vorbis. I think it's a superior format. Plus it's free and open sourced, which I prefer. I've been in the radio business as a DJ for 20 years now. Sadly, radio's corporate geniuses found that they can pay a DJ for a half-hour's work voice tracking their 5-hour show instead of having a live DJ on the air. Audiovault has therefore pretty much put me out of work. So, yes, I'm grateful for the Internet.  I'm not sure what else to tell you about the show that listening to it won't. A good show to dive into first would be #177. We got some very fine comments of that one. Plus, it was the debut of the Bacon Mic!

Jeff A Black
The BZT Weekly

http://buzzcat.net

Note: Jeff plays about 75% Vinyl LPs on his show. 

Here's a good cassette. Houses of the holy. by Led zepplin .There is not a dud on this record. It's very addictive. This is not their live version but the orange studio record. I prefer non-vocals for my own taste but this tape really got my attention. It's available on LP and 8 track. Tim

A few years ago I discovered the joys of vinyl. In high school, I have chosen to do a paper/project on the analog vs digital sound quality debate, siding with analog. I have read your site and I would greatly appreciate if you could share any additional knowledge or insight you have on this topic. Thank you so much for any response and your time. Jackie

All I can say is to me analog sounds more like music and it is music I enjoy. But it is not something that can be proven scientifically because in all measurements high resolution digital surpasses analog. And in all measurements except frequency response CD also surpasses analog. So that only leaves our ears and that is hard to prove in a paper, except to advise your readers to listen for themselves. It seems science is not able to measure the most important things? I’m glad you enjoyed my website and good luck with the paper. Teresa

February 16, 2007

Teresa I found your site because someone at the Steve Hoffman forum put a link to you. http://stevehoffman.tv  Very cool site you have. Great to see yet another group of analog fans speaking up about the aural grooviness of the format.

We do a weekly music show you may dig listening to sometime. I play about 75% vinyl on the show.  It's all over the road musically. Rock, Folk, you name it. I also do a monthly all Jazz show too.  I just updated my cartridge, an Audio Technica AT440MLa, on my VPI Scout table. Now the show sounds even better...

Keep up the great writing!

Sincerely,

Jeff Archer Black
The BZT Weekly

http://buzzcat.net

Jeff I'm glad you enjoyed your visit my analog oasis. If you want to send a little more information about your radio show I will do a little write up. It is nice to see Vinyl on the radio again. Teresa

February 15, 2007

In response to your video section. My thoughts about DVD are that I hate them. DVD is a much-hyped product that simply can’t deliver perfect video. The problems are they scratch too easy, skip, and lock up, The picture is too dark. I hate wide screen because half the picture is missing. I can see millions of ants crawling all over the screen. This is known as dot crawl. My laser disks have scratches and play perfectly with no problems and have a brighter picture. If you look at an analog and digital photo. The digital picture looks grainy and jagged. The film photo makes digital look sick. Any thing digital can do analog can do a lot better. I think there is missing video and audio between the samples that make digital perform poorly. And here we go again with another blue ray fad. Sony sure is money hungry. Tim

Thanks for you thoughts on LaserDisc versus DVD. LaserDisc is in my opinion the finest resolution video we have had for the home. I sold my LaserDisc player when all the new movies and programs added Dolby Digital that meant that the Analog tracks were MONO as Dolby Digital used the right channel of the analog tracks. The most sonically impressive LaserDiscs I had Analog CX encoded Stereo soundtracks. I would like LaserDisc reintroduced as an all-analog product with NO digital tracks, just CX encoded Stereo.

February 2, 2007

I read some articles about your audio musing and find it quite interesting. Just wanted to let you know that though I COMPLETELY agree with you on the musicianship of the analog era, (especially the years you mentioned) I will disagree your take on the SACD format. I luv that format this is the format that got me into classical music. I have the MLS and MLP SACDs that are simply awesome. Another point is that in today's world, very few people can afford LPs. And what I mean by afford is not the "cost", but the maintenance, caring, etc. That is also a big factor when you choose a format.

My friends are shocked that I have dedicated one room to my music system and I have a chair for listening to the music. They are simply not able to digest this. They are all iPod people. But when I put on some music on my system, they are really amazed by the "presence". I try to advocate the "type" of music that you have mentioned on your site to them. Till date just 2 converts from iPod to serious listenings. It is one of the most difficult tasks... Milind

Thank you for your take on SACD. I did say SACD is the most realistic sounding digital format I have heard, and the best PURE DSD SACDs such as those from Telarc's Classical division are almost analog-like in smoothness and presentation. Plus only Reference Recordings PURE ANALOGUE LPs offer the power and deep bass of a Telarc. I recently purchased a new DVD Universal (SACD and DVD-Audio) player from Yamaha that replaced my aging Toshiba DVD-Audio player and the Telarc SACDs sound mighty fine! I love Erich Kunzel's Telarc SACDs nearly as much as Arthur Fiedler's Living Stereo / Classic Records LPs and Michael Bishop's sound effects are loads of fun!

I have heard most of the RCA Living Stereo and Mercury Living Presence SACDs and I prefer the Classic Records and Speakers Corner 180 / 200 Gram LP versions but the SACDs offer about 80% of the sonics at about 1/3 the price and with twice the music as well. I don't blame anyone for choosing the less expensive SACD versions!

But as good as SACDs are the best LPs are leagues better and yes it is more work and upkeep to keep a turntable going and one's LPs in top condition. But I feel it is worth the effort.

The "iPod people" may win in the end, scary thought! Good luck with the converts!  Teresa

January 26, 2007

I cannot tell you what a Joy it is; but I will Seriously I have Long waited for Someone who shares my interest, not only in the analog sense but also a Musical sense, and you play Guitar Wow! …. My name is David and I am another banner flyer for analog! Also I am a Musician who has Loved Music since at least the age of 3, that I can remember. Anyway my brother "who also is a analog believer" sent me your web site. My brother and I have been doing A/B comparisons between the formats, as you have. Our conclusion is 99.5% always vinyl or reel to reel. I have been in a recording studio and wish I could afford a 2-inch Tape machine, which would be my pick, but George Martin I am not. When digital hit the market I knew it was the beginning of the end. I used to stack Albums on the spindle and listen for hours. Put a CD in and maybe 3 songs tops, I am through. Well Teresa I look forward to converse with you and try to help save our world from digital darkness, I sometimes believe they're are dark forces behind it all . P.S. what Guitar tab's are you're favorite, just curious? Well take care God bless and sleep better knowing you may have recruited an analog soldier. David

January 19, 2007

I’m very excited about George Mans laser player. I hope it will play Pioneers videodisk to. I will sell my car to get one. Keep me updated on this issue.  Tim

As I understand it George Mann's laser read analog disc is based on LaserDisc technology so I see no reason that a player cannot include both technologies. I too am excited about this but I may never happen, as the idea has not attracted any of the major players who could finance development and marketing of his new format. With the near death of both SACD and DVD-Audio it may just happen. Any new developments will be posted at AnalogLovers.com.  Teresa

January 7, 2007

I would like to see added artwork to LPs. There are many different ways to make LPs more appealing to the eye than just a black color look. For example a yellow, blue, red die could be added to the mix to create new swirl disk. Maybe make the disk transparent or see through adding pictures of the artist inside the LP. Adding shiny colored glitter mixed with the plastic would be very exquisite looking. All this would greatly increase the sales to young kids and would kill the sales of CDs fast. I spray my LPs with a small touch of WD 40 to reduce needle wear. It evaporates fast, not to messy. LPs wear out with repeated use? I don't believe it the LP rotates at 33 rpm. This high rate of speed does not give the needle enough time to dig in the plastic groove long enough to do any serious damage. Needles last a very long time due to light tracking forces. LPs are plagued with wow and flutter according to stereo review Ken Poleman? Another lie. I can't hear this make believe lie. I have many LP, cassette, and 8 track players and hear no such problems. If you hear this, the drive belt is loose and easy to replace. I think an LP played only once a day would last 60 years. Yes the needle would wear out but not the record. I have hundreds of LPs none are worn out. More over tape hiss is not a problem for me. This natural hiss is pleasing to my ears. I do not want it removed. Some of this hiss might be microphone and tube amp hiss. Would you believe I have seen CDs that are peeling off the plastic? Perfect sound forever Mr. Ken Pohlman? I never judge a music player with a spec sheet. Example frequency response, wow and flutter, dynamic range, signal to noise ratio channel separation, etc, Analog and tube amps may spec poorly but they blow away their digital counter parts in the dust. Some audio magazines like Sound and Vision, Crutchfield are too speck oriented. Many have been deceive by spec sheet numbers. Tim.

How long have you been using WD-40? Are you sure it is safe? WD-40 is really not designed for LPs, I have been using a dry record treatment / lubricant "Gruv Glide" and it works superbly. Have you ever tried this?

I believe your suggestions on decorating up the LP from it’s plain black would draw young listeners towards LP but wouldn’t it degrade sound quality the way picture discs did in the past?

I too have yet to wear out an LP and I buy many used. Without any kind of treatment LPs are supposed to last about 1,000 plays. With treatments this can be 4 to 5 times longer. But they do eventually wear out though I may never see it for myself, as I don’t have any LPs I play daily or even weekly and I have a medium sized collection. I am lucky if my many favorites get played once in a month.  Teresa

November 28, 2006

First, thanks for the time and effort you have made to begin & maintain your analogue site...I love its content and your unabashed "in your face" rejection of digital. After years of stereo system building and reading about the hobby I have reached many of the same conclusions you have and I've certainly wasted a lot of time and money on CD players, DACs, transports, anti-jitter machines but finally have realized that the digital pigs ear cannot be made into a silk purse.

I have a few questions that you my be able to help me with. I have recently regained a new enthusiasm for prerecorded cassette tapes and will try to replace some CDs with cassettes but wonder what tape types & labels you recommend for jazz and some rock and a few classical?? Where

might I find them?? Seems that ebay doesn't list a lot of info about some collections and just mentions artist and recording.

I am also beginning to cull my vinyl collection and am finding that often the recordings I like are mono but read often contradictory info on mono setup including the need for mono carts or whether just a mono switch on preamp is sufficient. Perhaps an article on your site about the mono challenge and how such a setup might work and sound? I also need to rid my collection of "digitally remastered" big band & jazz recreations that don't sound any better than digital but I have difficulty finding good well-made 50's and early 60's mono recordings. or later stereo issues.....I don't have the knowledge or vinyl sophistication to focus on labels or collections that are going to be decent. Suggestions?? Perhaps an article about recent quality reissues in 50's 60 classical jazz etc. I know there are many attempts to reintroduce quality vinyl but I have yet to find a succinct and focused discussion of recommended labels that the vinyl enthusiast may choose. Maybe you can shed some light on this area??

I also enjoyed your discussion & presentation of your love of classical music on vinyl...I really keep trying to find artists and recordings I like but find it confusing and so complex... I try to by the occasional DG collection but am a blind man finding his way in a crowd...I need help. How about a top 10 or 20 classical basics with artist & recording to launch a classical neophyte trying to make his way from jazz into a different genre?? You had several suggestions that were really helpful but if you could expand some I would be grateful......

Any more links or sources/discussions that I might read may be of help and save you some time from having to respond or discuss something that has already answered my questions....

Please know that your analogue efforts are appreciated here and of all the various and many discussions about things vinyl that I read yours is the best....Keep up the good work, your ideas are refreshing and your opinions valuable and very practical......THANKS! David

I am glad you enjoyed my website! The best sounding pre-recorded cassettes are of the audiophile variety, MFSL, Nakamichi Reference, In Sync Labs, etc. Except for MFSL these are extremely hard to find, and the MFSL cassettes can sometimes be rather pricey. The XDR series from Capitol sound excellent as far as major labels are concerned. Most of my major label cassettes have been purchased from thrift stores and most of the MFSL’s from eBay. My cassette collection is mostly Rock, Jazz and New Age I have not tried any classical cassettes in decades. I prefer to purchase classical music on LPs and Reel to Reels because of its wide dynamic range, so I cannot comment on classical music on cassette. If you can find the In Sync Labs cassettes which are duplicated on TDK SA tape on Nakamich 582 decks in Real Time, and the few classical titles from MFSL these will likely be the best classical on cassette.

The advantage of a mono switch is the exact same level is sent to both speakers, and that is not so when a stereo cartridge is sending the same mono signal to each speaker as level difference between the left and right output of a stereo cartridge can be as much as 1-2dB different. Since a mono cartridge only reads one signal instead of two identical ones it thus has the same effect of a well made mono switch. Mono is still compromised when played through two speakers as the left side of the right channel and the right side of the left channel is projected to the center of the room. A better, though impractical solution is to have one very large speaker in the center of the room. While I do own Mono recordings, I prefer Stereo if it is available. Hopefully I can get someone truly experienced in Mono to do a guest article. This is now on my to do list.

I am planning updated Recommended lists to include non-audiophile recordings, a could do a re-issue label review as well as there are many "so-called" audiophile labels whose recordings are of poor quality. I will say now my favorite re-issue labels are Analogue Productions, Classic Records, Cisco and Speakers Corner.

I will consider making a "20 recommended classical LPs for newcomers to classical music".

Again thanks for all the kind words I am glad that my site is being appreciated. Also there will be more links added as I am trying to find as much important information about analog as I want my site to be the definitive analog resource. Teresa

November 16, 2006

Remember reading these words on the back of the CD long box many years ago?

"We have attempted to preserve the original performance of this recording as closely as possible. But due to the CDs high resolution it can reveal limitations of the analog source tape."

Sony is a liar. If this was true why did Sony invent the Super Audio format? Sony seems to contradict itself.

The CD cannot reveal the limitations of any analog source tape. To my ears the 8-track tape is revealing limitations of the CD and Super Audio. Tim

November 15, 2006

The truth about digital.

To my ears CDs sound sterile, unmusical, boring, no emotion, I trashed my CD player. I have old 8-track player I collect from yard sales. They sound much better than the perfect sound farce. My cassettes sound light years ahead to any digital format. Inexpensive vinyl players are better sounding than digital. The CD did not kill the LP. The greedy record companies did. Why is analog so much better than digital? There are no voltage levels between 1 and 0 to form analog sine waves. What voltage levels are between a 1 and 0? Absolutely nothing. To make a true sine wave we need a 1/2 volt 3/4 volt 5/8 volt 1/4 volt. They go forever. They are essential for constructing sine waves. Without them there can be no music. They give music warmth and soul. Tim

Tim Thanks for writing I had a feeling even 8-track cartridge was more musical than the Digital formats. Many excellent observations and I couldn’t agree more. Teresa

November 10, 2006

I was looking at your website this morning. It is coming along very nicely. It's like an oasis in a digital desert. I loved your inteview with Harry Pearson. This is a great coup for you. It inspired me to write some more 2-track tape reviews. I don't want to dominate the discussion here, but I'm happy to contribute if you are willing to accept... Regards, Jerry

September 28, 2006

I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I admire and concur with your feelings about analog vs. digital. I can see that you are getting a lot of crap from some of the others on AA, but I agree with you. And thank you for all of your effort and work that you have put into your web site. Just wanted to let you know that some of us do appreciate you very much.  Jim

September 15, 2006

Much to my regret I must say that your list of crimes against music is far from complete:

-the widespread use of PCM1630 distribution masters sent to remote pressing plants. This way pure-analogue productions still went through ADC/DAC, and often invisible to the artist,producer, or management. Since the early 80s,perhaps even sooner. This made the reproducer side at the remote cutting / pressing plant more reproducible and easier to maintain. It also avoided the distribution of Nth-generation analogue copies for cutting.

-the widespread use of digital delay lines to allow the preview function of the cutter. Same effect as above. It allowed the elimination of cumbersome twin-head tape loop analogue reproducers.

-the, if not incompetent, then surely cheap-as-possible implementation of the anti-alias filters in next to all commercially available ADC chips

-the proliferation of studio gear and effects, with ever-growing functionality at ever-decreasing cost. This allows untrained talentless recording engineers to achieve superficially good results. Where are the legendary engineers of the 50/60s who achieved wonders using primitive gear?

-the corporate beancounters who decided that loud=good=$$$$, forcing the engineers to use digital's dynamic range only for hammering the listener with loud, obnoxious, dynamically-squashed, often even outright clipped chainsaw sounds. There really was no need for this, but humanity being what it is ...

The list could go on.

It could also be summarized as: from the day 'they' saw that pre-recorded music could be sold for real money, everything went downhill.

All a bit wider in scope than mere ana-digital debates, not?
Werner

September 9, 2006

Thank you for the invite to visit your website. I found it to be very interesting and informative.

I especially found the section on RtR encouraging. I do have a question, however. Have you hear any talk about making tapes available to those of us with more modest equipment; specifically RtR machines that are quarter track/7.5 ips?

I realize that the format isn't hifi, since I cut my teeth in RtR working with Ampex 440s in radio and television, but I have been unwilling to bid on anything on eBay due to shipping concerns on heavy electronics. I have bought tape decks in the past only to have them destroyed in transit! Very disappointing, to say the least. Also, for the time being, space is an issue and even though I have had a Revox A77 in the past, I would want something more substantial on the next go around.


Anyway, thanks for another great website! I will bookmark it for the future. Sincerely, Phil

I am glad you enjoyed my web site. Doc B. and Paul Stubblebine discussed the option of 4 Track 7 1/2 IPS pre-recorded Reels of their releases and at this time they will only offer the 2 Track 15-IPS. Instead they are rebuilding 2 Track machines to offer to customers interested in their tapes. I also do not have a 2 Track RTR; my Dokorder 7100 is a 4 Track with 7 1/2 IPS as the highest speed.

I find 4 Track 7 1/2 IPS to be often superb and in many areas superior to LPs, however 2 Track 15 IPS would be about as close to the Master Tape as one can get. It will be posted on the web site on the News page if they change their minds. 

I saw your new analog website, and some of your comments about digital sound and the state of music recording. I have been into audio equipment for over 30 years, and I still remember the excitement when the first round of digital players were introduced in the 80’s. I purchased a fairly early player, and found that the sound caused me to have an edgy feeling, even allowing for the lowly state of the equipment that I had at the time. Since then, my equipment (and ears!) have improved greatly, but many of the digital recordings still do not sound nearly as good as analog. I thought I would tell you a true story about all that to illustrate how bad I think things really are.

Some years ago I decided to do a complete upgrade of my analog gear to transcribe particular records to CDR, most of which were never issued as CD. I had a Dual CS530 belt turntable that I worked over with numerous applications of damping materials to the platter / chassis / tone arm / head shell, a rebuilt power supply for the motor, new cables, and a Shure V15 type IV. I also designed and hand built a phono preamplifier with great attention to details and tweaks that took nearly 2 years of spare time to complete. The combination of all my work resulted in vinyl sound that easily beat an equivalent commercial CD of the same material. Only the surface noise kept the sound from killing digital.

The output of the preamp that I built was routed into the line input of a PC based internal Creative Sound Blaster Live! Sound card. I carefully did the transfers after warming up the complete system (including the computer) for 3-5 days. After the music tracks were digitized, I did PC digital based editing and surface noise elimination. The results were burned to black Memorex CDR media that is favored by many people. To make a long story short, the sound that I obtained with my stereo systems CD front end was better with these transcribed tracks via the Sound Blaster card than the commercial CDs with the same tracks!!! I was shocked at this result. It was easy to tell the difference. Even home grown CDR copies of old records could sound better than commercial CD releases of the same material !!!

All this tells me that the big companies (with all their expensive equipment) are careless and clueless about sound recording and processing, and that digital has not really equaled the best of analog reproduction. That said, I have heard a small number of Red Book commercial CD disks that do sound very good (although some of them are analog recordings!). I also think that few of the CD’s that are released to the public have benefited from the care that is necessary to obtain good CD sound, even today, nearly 25 years after the introduction of digital. And I have also heard vinyl records that I thought were not so good either.Great sound recording and reproduction is a labor of love and attention to details at every step in the chain. This seldom achieved because people will easily settle for less. The tragedy is that so many great performances have been mucked up, and we will all suffer for the loss. I wish that the recording industry would wake up and try to do things better. The better my stereo system gets, the worse most of my CD’s sound to my ears.The sound of a well modded & tweeked lower priced turntable can be shockingly good on some records. Sincerely, Dan

September 8, 2006

Analog is like "Genève" watch, never goes out of style

Sincerely, Baruli

September 7, 2006

You are right on the money in so far as an introduction to classical music. I would however include the Bruch Scotish Fantasy, Prokofiev Classical Symphony, Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto. Steve 

September 4, 2006

Cassette is the medium of the poor man. Good quality cassettes up to audiophile’s standard are hard to find … Here is my choice of cassette. I am eagerly waiting for 15ips 2 tracks prerecorded tapes :-) Take care, MG

September 3, 2006

The first piece of classical I listened to was Dvorak's New World Symphony. The second was Mendelssohn's Italian. I was hooked. I agree with you and think that others would be, too, if introduced to the romantic period before any others. It's been tried, too. You might remember In the mid 70s Columbia came out with the Greatest Hits series, offering a well-rounded sampling of the major composers, and I believe they sold well.

Radio stations have to play a variety of music. That's not the place for those not familiar to start. It's the place to go once the appetite is whetted. That's where you expand your listening tastes. Incidentally while other stations flounder with idiotic formats, classical stations are usually very solvent, often making decent profits. That's because the audience, while not large, is ever present, those listeners who die being replaced by about an equal number of young listeners. We had a top notch classical station in Philly, WFLN, which sadly was sold ten years ago. The new owners not satisfied with the 7 million annual profit, tossed the entire LP library and have tried one rock format after another. They've been in the red and the ratings in the toilet ever since. Classical is now played part time on a university station--the announcers have been retained and the programming is very good, but we miss the live orchestra performances we used to enjoy in the evenings. And of course all those recordings gone forever.

Your translation of various composers/pieces to pop genres is fun and cute, but I don't think it would play out with the actual listeners. You're attempting to categorize people according to the way you and I perceive and hear music. People who listen to hard rock do so for reasons that we have a hard time understanding--a simple, emotional, gut appeal on a basic animal level. Not that classical music doesn't evoke emotion and passion, but I've spoken to hard rock people and they're on a different planet. So attempting to assume that they would like Night On Bald Mountain other than something else is a stretch. But I found your list fun and thought of other composers I would add to each category.

I also agree that rock attempts to re-do classical have been mediocre. (However I do like later ELO and think that Jeff Lynne is a kind of musical genius). The only time I think classical has worked in rock/pop is was with the group, Renaissance. Don't know if you've ever heard their stuff (all on LP from the 70s and early 80s), but it is wonderful.

Well, it's a terrific website and I'm sure I'll be back to visit. Take care and enjoy your music. Regards, Howard

September 2, 2006

I read with interest your write up on the web site because I used to be a devoted two channel guy and only tolerated multi channel sound in my separate home theater. BTW I have 50 years hands on experince in this pursuit. When I retired three years ago and moved I was forced to combine the systems.

The audio portion consists of an NAD T-163 pre-amp processor and an NAD T-973 multi-channel power amplifier. The vinyl is supplied by a heavily modded AR turntable, a Linn arm, and a Clearaudio Aurum Beta S cartidge. The TT feeds into an Adcom 565 pre-amp, which is set at a constant volume and is connected to the NAD pre/pro.

Speakers are Magnepan 1.6's on spiked and sand filled custom Mye stands. I use four speakers but play six channels, thus the front and rear center channels are "phantom". I hated Dolby Pro Logic and still do. Dolby Digital is just OK, DTS a lot better. But the BIG surprise was my discovery after considerable experimentation that Dolby Pro Logic II Music greatly improves stereo recordimgs. I have new life for my vinyl, laserdisc, and tape collections and use this all the time for everthing that is stereo, including FM and cable TV broadcasts. Every once in a while I revisit plain stereo and always reurn to Pro Logic II music (I even prefer it on films over Pro Logic II Movies). I would be interested in your take on Dolby Pro Logic II.  Thank you, rico

Editors response: Hi Rico, Thanks very much for your letter. I have tried Dolby Pro Logic, I didn't like how it steered everything to the center I tried different level settings and was never able to get the TV visual soundscape spread out like I can without a center. However I have never tried Dolby Pro Logic II and hopefully they have fixed this problem. Since Dolby Pro Logic is an analog process I would be interested in revisiting this at a later date once I get most of the 2 channel content up on the site. Have you ever tried high resolution Multi-Channel Digital (SACD & DVD-Audio)? And if you have how does Dolby Pro Logic II compare? It would be nice to have another multi-channel analog format besides Quad. This might be something a lot of my readers would be interested in. I still prefer 2-channel myself.

Good for you Teresa I hope your site thrives. Michael Fremer, Senior Contributing Editor Stereophile, Editor www.musicangle.com

This message comes from the U.K. Congrats. for a great site and for trying to keep Analogue and Vinyl Alive. I have been into Vinyl for over 30 years, and yes I have strayed from the path in the late 80s to my great cost and regret. But I am back on course. Well done. Warm regards Bernd

August 31, 2006

I found your article on "The Death Of The LP" fascinating. You assign most of the blame of that formats demise to the "strong arm tactics" of the music industry. That argument certainly has some merit. But I noticed one glaring omission from your argument: the convenience factor. When dealing with mass market commodities, the path of least resistance is always the best route to success...provided the price is right (which you alluded to). This is why once the prices of CD's and CD players became affordable (the later half of the 1980's), LP sales plummeted. LP's always had to be handled with care, cleaned, stored vertically, etc. They required a lot of maintennance lest they become unlistenable. CD's changed all of that. They never needed to be cleaned. They were impervious to fingerprints and all but the deepest of scratches. And they could be stored nearly anywhere, taking up maybe one fifth the storage area. And all without degredation to the sound. Also keep in mind that the vast majority of the public never has and never will care about sonic quality. As long as the music is audible. That's all they cared about. Yes, LP's outsold by a 4:1 ratio. It wasn't because people "preferred" LP's per se, it's that they had no other choice up until CD. Not unless you count tape, which is even more cumbersome to use than LP's. Especially for individual tracks.  Matt