Dave Harmon responds to John Smyth:
>>This is my second year into vinyl after 20 years of the CD. No regrets
>>whatsoever and-having recently heard my first CD in as much as a year
>>and a half-I've still no regrets, but more on that later. ...
>When I was growing up in the 1940's, my mother had a Model T Ford,
>and my father had a large collection of 78's.
>My mother's Model T Ford has evolved into a well engineered and much
>safer means of transportation and I feel no nostalgia for the Model
>T or desire to own or drive one.
>I grew up listening to 78's and I cannot for the life of me understand
>the attraction of changing sides of a playing disc every 4 minutes -
>even if you bought the best technology to bear and managed to get decent
I would hate to go back to 78s for this very reason. And because of the
noise. But I must admit that one day I heard 78s played on equipment
adapted just for their reproduction, and I was stunned out of my chair.
Would I go to this trouble? No. But there was no denying what I was
As for the comparison between modern cars and Model T Fords, that
doesn't apply here. There is no question that a Model T is not going
to outperform a VW Passat or whatever. Other than getting you where you
are going--eventually, with accent on eventually and maybe I shoujd add
hopefully--there really is no comparison between the old and new in cars.
(For an interesting novel dealing with the hazards of automobile traveling
in the days of the Model T, etc., read Sinclair Lewis' "Free Air.")
When it comes to recorded sound, Mr. Smyth is correct. If played with
the right equipment LPs can be stunning, just as Mr. Smyth says, and
they can, and most of the time do, sound better than CDs--all things
being equal in on-site recording quality. I'm not saying it's easy to
make LPs sound that great. It takes knowledge, equipment, and knowhow,
but it can be done and in many homes (including mine) is done all the
time. It certainly is easier than working with 78s.
Of course, there is no denying CDs are more convenient. They are. And
for that reason alone, I can see someone never returning to LPs. Hey,
I love the CDs' convenience, too, and I listen to them all the time.
But avoiding LPs on the grounds of sound? No.
>I think every path in life has two directions - forward and backward -
>and all of us choose to move in one of those directions.
In fact, CDs are forward and backward. Of course, it depends on what
you mean by CD. When CDs were developed, it was known by many then that
their sampling rate was too low. Of course, many argued that this was
not true, but today, it's becoming clear that recording companies--the
honest ones--are admitting the CD critics were right. Hence the 96 Kh
recordings, SACD, etc.--all attempts to make CD sound like it should
have in the first place. No, I'm not saying that the LP cannot be
improved upon. In fact, that improvement may be taking place now.
But the original CD was an improvement sonically only for those with
poor turntables and equipment that otherwise couldn't reveal their
shortcomings--again all things being equal at the production sites.
>But, since I can't go back, I find the Model T and the 78 discs to be
>part of a time in my life that is past and I have feel no desire to buy
>a Model T and drive it around town, nor do I want to sit listening to
>old sounds on old records.
Of course, we are now listening to old sounds (reissues) on CD all the