Stream or vinyl

Just an update rather than a question or starting a new argument.
I am always looking at potential upgrades whether I need them or not, as befits an obsessive hifi hobbyist.
I am thinking about a better cart for my P8 and whether a better cart will be an improvement before a possible upgrade of the arm. As part of the pre testing today I have been comparing streaming vs vinyl. In my study the lp12/RB300/hana EH via the hc/72/62 and the streaming (aries/vega g1) both sound pretty much the same. I struggle to hear a difference, perhaps the lp12 sounds a little bright as the volume goes higher than I normally listen at. Test record was Alison Krauss Windy City.
Going to the main system of P8/hana sl/gn ph10 with the 552/300DR I find the streaming kit (Aries/Sirius/Vega G2.1) gives me a noticeably superior sq, more clarity, more open, more 3d. So with that as my benchmark I am now wondering if moving to a hana umami blue on the P8 will give me a closer match, or whether I should bite the bullet and go for an RB 3000 arm before changing the cart. I have had dirty thoughts about swapping the P8 for a P10 but I really do not like the white ceramic turntable of the P10.

Of course given my little use of a tt at all I could do the sensible thing and sell the P8 setup altogether, but where’s the fun in that.

Yes and an interesting hobby it is! Some more detailed specs of the LP12 would be needed to say something about the Study system.

As to the main system, you probably know that I believe that Rega, especially since the RP and new P series, very much designs their turntables as part of a system. You have opted for a very specific different (expensive) phono stage and cartridge. But that is combined with a lower level of turntable than the rest of your system.

Since you indicate not wanting to go the Rega system route with P10, Arpheta3/Arphelion, Aria, I wonder if you hypothetically also could swap around the different turntable concepts.
I mean moving the P8 to the study system with a suitable cart and phono stage. Then start building/ upgrading upon a LP12 system for your main room with the hana sl/gn ph10 in there.

Just some thoughts to bump the discussion you started!

2 Likes

All thoughts I have had. I started with the idea that having ditched my LP12 and its constant upgrading, for cd’s, a long time ago that I would now concentrate on the best streaming solution I could afford. Then I thought just get a simple setup (Rega) to play my old lps. Then I wanted a retro setup for the study, cheapish lp12 and Olive shoebox, and so it goes. :grinning:

I will stop sometime.

3 Likes

I’ll try to be more original! :slight_smile:

Btw I am willing to take a bet that the “little brightness” on the LP12 is directly attributable to the RB300 arm, something it is known to do. Something any mundane entry Linn tonearm will likely cure. Or mount a better Rega arm, but you know all that.

Yes this sounds like a big deviation from the original plan. And I experienced a somewhat similar struggle keeping two sources on par. With just digital or only analogue it is so much easier to create a nice little system. Think I’m back on track now, hope you find a way forward as well. You do have an impressive collection of gear in your profile, so many options to regroup / rethink / re-order…

Enjoy!

1 Like

Thanks for the interest and thoughts. Re the LP12, it was bought on looks to suit my nostalgia but basic spec is Cirkus bearing, Hercules power supply, Rega RB303 with tungsten counterweight. I have added the hana eh and am running it through a Naim e card at present. I am unlikely to put it into the main system as I will just end up going down the same path I did pre cd days.

2 Likes

The ratio I understood to be: table before arm before cartridge. So upgrade the arm before the cart. Is it the 808 arm you have or 880?
You could look for a 2000 instead of 3000?

1 Like

Ah RB303 plus tungsten not RB300, much better, with Hana EH and NA523E boards, a thoughtful configuration for your purpose.

Yes, I totally understand not wanting to go on the LP12 upgrade path again, I find it discomforting myself from time to time.

1 Like

I’ll be following this with interest, as I’m in the same boat using a 552DR/300DR, but with a new ND555. Vinyl is via a humble Rega Planar 3, modified with a 24V motor, the Neo PS and an Exact cart through a Heed Quasar phono. So, streaming is well ahead in that regard. But, I do have a 300 odd collection of pretty good vinyl, so the question of upgrading the Rega is in my dark thoughts. I had thought a new Planar 8, even with the Exact would be enough to get closer, but your post suggests not…. Maybe a used Planar 10….

I don’t what to go down a rabbit hole, but just closer with the vinyl to the streaming would be fun - though not necessary of course.

4 Likes

It is the 880 so I was thinking it may take the U blue. If not then I would move this to the lp12 and replace with a 3000.

1 Like

I think I may be a tad obsessive. You would need to hear the P8 against your excellent set up to see whether you are similarly afflicted. :smile:

2 Likes

Just a thought but it strikes me that you’re a bit in no mans land. 2 really good vinyl configurations but neither optimised. Do you really use both to any great extent? Is the study system where you really play vinyl?

Of course as is so often the case you don’t have to do anything. However, first I’ve long given up on the digital vs analogue debate. My preference is actually vinyl and FM R3, but it is only a preference, I can’t say with any evidence why, I just adore listening to the, at least to me, richness and presentation that comes with my TT and tuner. But my CDP sounds sublime as well. Equally at night as I go to bed I might listen to something streamed or R3 on my Qb. It’s all (really) good.

But vinyl does require a little more TLC and if I were you I think I’d optimise around one vinyl solution. This says to me selling the P8 and upgrading the LP12 or selling both and getting a P10 or even Naia.

I bet this doesn’t help one iota but I throw it out there!

Good luck and enjoy your music!

Regards,

Lindsay

3 Likes

Your thoughts are somewhere near mine with the exception that my intention was not to max out the vinyl side. I listen 90% of the time via streaming but when I do play the vinyl I don’t want to be disappointed. Just being greedy really. The lp 12 set up in the study is a perfect match for the streamer in there, so no drive to change anything.

The main system is where I notice the (small) difference with vinyl vs stream. It is that small difference I am thinking to address, rather than looking for the best possible vinyl solution. As you say if I was to go all out with vinyl I would be seriously looking at the Naia rather than the lp12 route.

3 Likes

@Mike_S from your profile: Lounge: Nova, Totem Hawks.

Maybe you could add the latest better Rega Planar (6 or 8) with their MC cartridges (Ania or Ania Pro) and a Fono MC phono stage to that system? That would actually make a nice combination together, and avoids going up several steps to match the main system.

If in anyway possible in how you live in your place, of course. The older P3 could be mothballed, given to kids, or used in a small room with a Rega Brio IO amp (cheap as chips) or a used UQ2.

Just some thoughts!

4 Likes

+1

It’s about a year since I’ve added a Rega P8 with Ania MC and Fono MC to my Uniti Nova … although I regret not having enough time to spend with this system, I know that it will last a lifetime, very recommended!!

3 Likes

Stream or vinyl…

Just read through and caught up on this recent thread.
Interesting read.

So, not necessarily looking for any definitive advice. More maybe inviting ideas and thoughts, from others. Perhaps more to act as a foil, or at least to maybe validate any ideas you’ve already had.

Relating it back to streaming.
Parity between sources is a holy grail. Audio nirvana even. We are pursuing something similar in our house, with our own journey.

Trying to reach a decent streaming solution, which matches with other things. As the best sources in our house have always been turntables. Going back a long way.

Here is another idea, or approach…
Don’t aim for parity. Or at least parity in the same room.

Maybe search for best digital and analogue sources. Each in their own way. But put those best sources into different systems.

In our house, we have pursued this approach. With one room for best analogue. Another room, a second system set up for best digital. Although, both rooms have a turntable and streaming available. It avoids the endless comparisons, whether conscious or unconscious. Just another thought on the topic.

One place is really for records. But can stream from Qobuz or ripped CD’s from a local SSD server. Another location is set for digital (CDP and streamer). But a record player is present there too if required.

Good luck

KR
R

4 Likes

Thanks, all good things to mull over.

Edit, just quick thoughts.
I have been through all of the kit, trying all of the available combinations in different rooms over the past year or so, and have arrived at the decision to sell the ‘hoard’ at some time. If I was in the UK it would have been released by now but the complications of now selling from France in to the UK have delayed things. That will of course release monies to replenish whatever I spend in the meantime on possible additions/upgrades.

Re the study system. I really don’t intend to improve on what I have finally arrived at. It’s my vanity project. I need nothing in there but a simple streamer and a Nait 2 but have chosen to extend my brief. I will live with it as it now is.

The main system sounds wonderful, even with the P8 as is. I feel grateful to have it and could live with a lot less if needed. I would however like to just bring the tt nearer to the sound I enjoy from the streaming kit. This thread has helped me realise that and I am still minded to look at an arm or cartridge, or both, in which order I’m not sure.

It isn’t final until I buy something on impulse when I see it, so any more thoughts and suggestions not in line with my own are very welcome. It is a journey for me, rather than something to be decided and acted on immediately.

1 Like

Sure. Enjoy :+1:

1 Like

What a nice discussion! Thank you @bruss and @ratrat for sharing these thoughts.

What sprang to my mind is a sentiment of starting fresh. If you could keep only three systems for three rooms, or two for two, what would they be if there were no limits?

(meaning create a very open mind again not limited by what is now, and use your experience in what works for you and makes you happy. Be creative, like perhaps you have an old house with many small rooms so find used Musos for all of them, and keep two main systems, you know what I mean).

Sell everything else, use the proceeds for the new clear picture, make a plan to get there. Sometimes a clean sweep is good for everything!

Btw it’s easy to sell your stuff via eBay, takes some time to become handy with it but it works great from wherever you are to world-wide if you put your mind to it. I do that all the time (vintage car and bike parts for new or from past projects). Even met some very nice people in that.

The post Brexit problem is two fold. Taxes, vat at 20% commonly and the interminable delays in shipping held at customs. Pre brexit I could move kit on a monday 4 pm to/ from France/uk and have it delivered by 4 pm the following day. Now it can take 3 weeks and even then become lost in the system.

Re starting afresh? I’d be where I am with the main system unless money no object. Perhaps a 500DR instead of the 300DR, no more. Study I guess the 252/250 DR. Sources much the same. Bedroom systems perhaps the Nait 250, source just the Node still. TV room the xs2 does a good job so perhaps update to the xs3.
Nice to have would be the Rega Naia.

Since you’re now a EU-resident you might consider selling within the EU instead of back to the UK :wink: