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LP Records as Art
Leslie Shapiro | Jan 22, 2017
Those who grew up in the age of vinyl LP records remember that preparing for the listening experience was an artform in itself. Ceremoniously removing the LP from the sleeve, while gently grasping the edge of the album, fingertips kept oh-so-carefully away from the surface lest a fingerprint mar the surface. The precise application of disc-washing solution to the luxurious velvet of the cleaning pad, followed by the virtuoso swipe of the pad across the grooves. The placement of the stylus on the record required finesse - a person was judged by how silently and gently the needle was placed on the disc.
Sony PS-HX500 Hi-Res USB Turntable Review
Michael Trei | Mar 28, 2016
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $599 AT A GLANCE Plus Good-quality manual belt-drive turntable Built-in hi-res analog-to-digital converter Built-in phono preamp Simple user setup Minus Additional software needed to play recorded files Manual metadata collection for recorded files THE VERDICT With analog and hi-res digital outputs, and a built-in phono preamp, the Sony PS-HX500 has what you need to bring your vinyl collection into the 21st century digital world. Detractors love to say that the current resurgence of vinyl is nothing but a bunch of bearded hipsters with Crosley Cruisers, trying to look cool in their mid-century bachelor pads. There is, however, one surefire way to tell the difference between a fad and a real movement, and that’s when the big boys stop snickering from the sidelines and decide to start playing along.
Table Talk: How To Set Up a Turntable
Brent Butterworth | Sep 19, 2012
ACROSS THE CONTINENT, thousands are taking part in an almost-forgotten rite. It melds advanced technology, knowledge handed down through the decades, and a little dose of black magic. As most rituals do, it appalls many nonbelievers, but that fact only makes its practitioners relish it more.
Test Report: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Turntable
Brent Butterworth | Sep 18, 2012
Carbon fiber is included in all sorts of products, sometimes for absurd and cynical reasons. My Philips Arcitec electric razor, for example, has carbon fiber trim on its sides. The carbon fiber doesn?t lighten or stiffen the razor, much less improve my shave. It merely adds cachet. Call me unromantic, but I don?t need my razor to evoke images of F1 cars and high-tech jets.So why should you care that Pro-Ject dolled up its new Debut Carbon turntable with a carbon fiber tonearm?
Test Report: Rega RP6 Turntable
Brent Butterworth | Jul 17, 2012
It?s a ritual. You hear audiophiles claim how great vinyl sounds, but you never quite buy into it. Then you finally hear your first good turntable, and you?re hooked. In my case, it was a Rega Planar 3, demo?d by Sound+Vision contributing writer Ken Korman. Back in 1991, I spent an evening at Ken?s checking out old sides by the likes of Miles Davis and Todd Rundgren, in each case marveling at how different the sound was from the CD.The reason many audiophiles get their start with a Rega is that Regas deliver above-average performance at below-average prices. The new RP6 is a great example.
Test Report: Parasound Zphono-USB Phono Preamp
Brent Butterworth | Jul 17, 2012
There?s some debate among vinylphiles about whether USB phono preamps need to exist, but I for one am glad they do. When I bring home my latest haul of vinyl from Amoeba Records, I love being able to plug a laptop straight into my NAD PP 3 to make quick MP3s of albums I like so I can listen to them on my smartphone. (Sacrilege!) It?s easier than making an analog connection, and it bypasses the lousy analog-to-digital converter built into my laptop.With the Zphono-USB, Parasound brings new versatility and features to the USB phono pre concept.
Show and Tell: Phono Cartridge Choice and Installation
Michael Trei | Apr 19, 2012
After having been declared dead sometime back in the 1990s, analog turntables and vinyl records have made a strong comeback in recent years. That's great, but for people who come from the CD or iPod generations, it's hard to comprehend just how tweaky the world of analog playback can be. Unlike a CD player or iPod which you simply connect and play, most turntables require careful optimization to deliver the best possible sound.
Spin Doctors: Ten Turntables Under $500
James K. Willcox | Dec 28, 2011
I?d had my AR ES-1 turntable for about 20 years when a tenant burned my house ? and the turntable and about 3,000 records ? to the ground the one time I decided to rent it. If this sad story has a silver lining, it?s that it sent me back into the world of vinyl and turntables.
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Report, Part 2: Speakers, Amps, and More
Brent Butterworth | Oct 18, 2011
The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is growing up. A few years ago, it was known as a gathering of small (sometimes one-man) companies demonstrating exotic (sometimes downright wacky) audio products. Some of those guys are still there, but so now are most of the better-known high-end audio companies.
Michael Berk | Aug 18, 2011
Parasound has packed a few more features into their Zphono moving coil/moving magnet pre, adding to the Zphono·USB ($350) an A-D converter and (obviously) a USB port, making it even more handy as a general-purpose interface for those with older and esoteric turntables (or pretty much any other stereo gear) looking to digitize their collections.