I read in the recent issue of Copper magazine an article written by a gentleman who is one of the leading experts in room and system set-up titled: “LP Playback: Is It Really Reference Quality?” http://www.psaudio.com/article/lp-playback-is-it-really-reference-quality/
So I was double shocked when I read the article which was not about the title subject, but more about trashing vinyl as a medium and trying to convince folks that listen to vinyl whether exclusively or not, that they are not hearing all the music as intended. I was also shocked because the article is not in his field of expertise, but should be. In other words, would he go into a person’s home to do a system and room set-up and then refuse if that person wanted to include an analog front-end for vinyl playback? Judging by some of the things he wrote it sounds like there would be much bias. It’s perfectly fine to have ones own bias, but if you are doing a service of any type in audio, including writing about certain things you have to put certain personal bias aside if you want to help someone or at least be up front about it. I use and enjoy many different mediums myself and it would make no sense to focus solely on one. On top of that, considering this site was designed to be about music and a help to those seeking better sound or just starting out in audio reproduction, etc. it would be a disservice if I was bias against all but one medium or music genera, etc. and telling you that you are wrong for considering anything else. If I wanted to do that, my mission statement and this site would look far different.
So the article was supposed to be about whether or not vinyl LP playback can be considered reference quality, but sadly, the author fails to address that almost completely. The article just reads like one of Trump’s speeches, a rant against vinyl LPs and analog gear with a few insults thrown at those who listen to vinyl LPs and contradictions and half-truths twisted to fit an agenda.
First of all, while I have heard many an “audiophile” claim that vinyl LP playback is reference quality automatically and then qualifying that by stating that as long as one is using a five-figure turntable and cartridge in a six-figure system. The irony is that these same “audiophiles” will also claim that digital is the way to go qualifying it the same way. Not being an audiophile myself and being of a more scientific background, if you will, I don’t have such automatic responses. I believe it can be both ways in all media formats, just as there is good and bad in everything. The bottom line though is that it really is in the ears of the beholder. In other words, it is almost all subjective. The problem is that the article in reference does not really address that. Continue reading