Nowadays everything is more complicated

Nowadays everything is more complicated. :slight_smile:

In the past you just put a vinyl/CD/tape reel and you were done, leaving audiophile discussion to the single components in the audio chain and to the record’s quality.

Today the discussions (and quite a lot of doubts) start before the musical information reach the DAC section.

It’s like we were debating what is going on inside the vinyl groove/CD pits/tape track before the signal arrives to the turntable cartridge/tape head/CD pickup respectively.


Not exactly how I remember it :sweat_smile:

Fighting dust, fingerprints, fighting stylus jumping, leveling, chewed up tape. Preheating tubes, ground loops, endless hum. Reel to reel recordings or another what was called copying.
We just exchange one set of problems for another one, I’d say a simpler one. When they are solved, no more lp, cassette or reel flipping, just virtually any record within a few seconds click. Queue up a few albums in the morning and it is nirvana. :loud_sound:


You forgot cleaning the tape heads. I cleaned them after every play, and even using top of the line tapes, was amazed at how much oxide the q-tips collected. BASF’s top tape shed the least, by the way.


Fair enough. :slight_smile:

Analogue includes some delicate and annoying operations. You’re right.

CD is probably the simplest media, right now.

Digital started like a simple thing (I mean, from the end user perspective). Today has reached a more complicated level.

And it’s far from finished. This whole Dolby-whatever added by Apple is … I don’t know :confused: … I’m still on the fence observing it, not completely convinced.

When I read Eddy Cue’s words, which – I summarize – state that Apple added lossless almost like a bonus for those 4 audio nerds out there, because they consider Spatial Audio way more important and where the music will belong to in the future, I started thinking what will mean all this for the audio enthusiasts.

First world problem, you’d say…

So you were never an “audiophile”, then? Because that’s EXACTLY what audiophiles were “debating”; i.e., what is going on inside the vinyl groove (need to clean it with special solutions / tools, degauss it, etc.), CD pits (need to treat the edge of the CD with special green ink to prevent the scattering of light beams), tape track (need to properly tension the tape, clean and degauss tape heads, etc.) …

This is much easier - I switched from 8-track / cassette / LP the minute CDs became available, and from CDs the minute downloads / streaming became available and have NEVER looked back fondly :wink:

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The most hard-core analog lovers are still fighting, it’s just a fraction of the analog music joy!

Convenience wise, no doubt, but still a lot of problems (way much weirder and complicated) to be solved till you reach the SQ nirvana too!

That was the biggest enemy of the analog: you really had to know things! Chrome and Metal cassettes and EE tapes don’t leave ■■■■ behind (not even after 40 years or so).

Though some of the “audiophile treatments” are beyond any kind of logic, ilogic or ■■ some in your list are the real deal: the vinyl needs to be cleaned from time to time, same the mechanisms of any mechanical player, cd included).

Well, I believe you said that as a metaphor, still, the minute CDs became available any decent tape machine was years ahead SQ wise (and it took years for the CDs to catch up and in the end very few closed the gap but never succeeded in sounding real analog). Their succes was not because they sounded better (they didn’t, especially in the beginning), but because of the convenience and because most of the people confused the absence of tape’s hiss with a better sound (most still do). Also, the real good sounding CD players were expensive (still are).

They left oxide behind, but not NEARLY as much as other formulations. And, those were not available in 10 1’2" reel to reel.

I’m listening to a Maxell 35-180 EE (that’s a10 inch reel) as we speak, so yes, they were available (still are).

This is hi-tech comparing to the last kind I used: :sob:
Finding that image reminded me why I prefer streaming.

The last blank tape I bought was about 40 years ago, and either the EE hadn’t been released yet, or they weren’t available in the Baltimore, Washington market. Even as recently as 1999, they weren’t available here, as at that time I was working for a major Maxell distributor (and TDK, etc) just outside of D.C. That doesn’t mean that it might have been available in other markets, though.

They were available from 70s till late 90s. You can still regularly find them on ebay (NOS or used)

But not in the Balt / DC are. I knew every tape available during that period, as it literally was my job to know that stuff.

Even before that, it was terribly hard to book a good string quartet for the evening…

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We probably all spend far to much time fixating about power supplies, USB cables and DAC’s etc.

We should never forget that it’s all about the music, and not the kit :grinning:


As Alan Parsons said:

Audiophiles don’t use their equipment to listen to music. Audiophiles use your music to listen to their equipment.



I must confess, I don’t understand why being an “audiophile” and being a “music lover” are often placed in opposition to one another. I try to assemble the best possible music-reproduction system (within the limits of my budget, at least most of the time!) to maximize my enjoyment of the music. The two go hand-in-hand, in my mind. I’m willing to try modifications (better cables, linear power supplies, different DACs, etc.) toward this end, and if they achieve the goal, great, if not, I move on! Does this make me an “audiophile” or a “music lover”? Or both?


I agree that any music lover should try to use the best possible equipment he or she can afford. Sure makes the music even better. Just as long as the equipment does not end up being the end in itself.
Balance is all !


We are living in a very unbalanced world…