Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Something About Vinyl......

  Until the '80's, all of my music listening was via vinyl records.  Even the music from the radio was broadcast from records.  Then the Compact Disc came along and everything became digital.  That was a good thing because the reproduction of sound became perfect and flawless, something that would make any purist happy, right?  The thing is, if sound reproduction had always been digital, that would be all we know and knew.  However, if you are first introduced to a song that is an analog recording on a 45 rpm or 33 1/3 rpm record, and you hear it over and over again on that media, that is the one you are most accustomed to.  So jump ahead a bunch of years and you are in the record shop and find a CD of the same song by the same artist, you have a tendency to buy it and rush home to savour the memories of listening to it.  You will probably be disappointed because, more often then not, it is a remastered recording.  One of a couple things might have happened.  The original analog master tape was processed through noise reduction treatments as well as altering the equalization of the recording, with the final product being a digital recording resulting in a different overall sound then what you were familiar with.  Or, worse, due to the unavailability of the master tape because of damage or rights or whatever, the original artist might record a new version directly to digital.  Now, you know, that won't be the same song you have become so accustomed to!
  When purchasing 'oldies' on CD's, a handy thing to watch out for (if you want a faithful playback) is the SPARS code on the CD.  Particularly watch for AAD, that is the one you want!
  It has been several years since I have had a turntable connected to my sound system, however, I still have several old LP records.  My neighbour recently gave me his old turntable (thanks Bryan!) along with some of his LP's.  Today, I actually cleaned up a corner of my Man Cave and set up the turntable and was very happy to see it still works.  So for a couple of hours, I was grooving (am I still allowed to say that?)on some of my old records.  Even though there were some scratches, pops, and surface noise, it was like being reacquainted with an old friend.  You know, and I know, that there is the right record to play, depending on what mood you are in.  Today, I was mellow and my mood fit nicely in between the sounds of Judy Collins and The Byrds.
  And thanks for listening!

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. - Aldous Huxley

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