An old saw I know …but what the hell.
A friend I had leant my Audionote DAC to popped it back to me last night and so I demoed my SBLs to him. Having played a variety of tracks streamed locally and from Qobuz via my Klimax Renew, and very nice it sounded.
I then put on my original, and rather less than perfect, copy of The Wall. My friend started making some not undeserved derogatory comments about the state of the album before shortly thereafter falling quiet and just listening to the music, in a way he just hadn’t when the music was streamed.
To bring some balance, after The Wall I played a couple of tracks from one of The Beatles 24bit flac albums, which are particularly good, to show the streamer at its best.
He then played me the following video:
This makes a number of points, one being the well known safeguard of the limitations of the vinyl media protecting the musics dynamic range. One perhaps more subtle point is the inextricable linkage between the two channels when using a cartridge, so that you cannot independently play with one channel without effecting the other.
Our conversation then moved onto the psycho-acoustic effects of music mastering; effects that we don’t consciously register but do help us to relax and enjoy, or become tenser as our brain is forced to work that bit harder perhaps.
This bought us back in due course to the Audionote DAC, NOS and how chasing good measurements in one area can lead to poor results in another, such as phase.
I fully accept that the SBLs and LP12/Aro/Geddon were designed with each other in mind. But, I have heard the perceived step up in performance from Vinyl in many contexts and the feeling that something is just right; whilst knowing that the measured performance of digital files outstrips vinyl in many areas.