Maybe you're not playing fair?

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Yesterday's post surely got some of you riled up and perhaps I got a little carried away with my "emotional attachment" comment - no, not perhaps, definitely. It is very system dependent - and as several of you have correctly pointed out, including my friend Michael Fremer, my turntable system and methodology doesn't come close to matching that of the digital system.

But some good questions came up and I want to touch on those. Several of you pointed out to me that the size of my vinyl library is small, relative to that of my CD and high resolution collection. Thus I have a rather limited selection of vinyl from which to make a proper judgment. I couldn't agree more.

My good friend Josh at Music Direct has been helping me acquire a bigger library and kindly sends me releases he thinks I'll like - many from their Mobile Fidelity label - and to be honest some of these are just stunning. I just got the Frank Sinatra collection and that's awesome.

Should any of you have suggestions of what vinyl I should be playing to discover what many of my readers feel - that vinyl is by far the superior musical medium - bring it on. Nothing has yet convinced me of this but I am more than open to the idea. I just love hearing new and wonderful music that thrills and excites, regardless of the medium.

But I should tell you that as predicted, the double edged sword nature of a system like the big IRS is that it shows everything connected to it or played on it - for better or for worse. So sensitive and clear is this system that even the smallest change to the setup can be instantly heard. It's shown me a few surprising things: just HOW good the PerfectWave products are when it comes to digital playback - I was nervous that perhaps they might not live up to this level of exposure - but I was pleasantly surprised. Cable lengths are more critical than ever - the difference between a 2 meter HDMI cable vs. a 1 meter is immediately obvious - the shorter cable winning out handily.

But the biggest surprise of all is still vinyl. I figured this system was designed on vinyl - this system was optimized for vinyl - and yet vinyl is definitely the weaker medium when compared to high resolution audio.

Suggestions as to how to change my mind are most welcome.

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Paul McGowan

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