Need a New Turntable?

Posted by trig on April 29, 2014

You might still have some of those big black plastic disks lying around your music listening space. If that's so, then you might need a new turntable, so you'll be interested in this offer of a special edition Sondek SP12 turntable from Linn. It would be so interesting to compare this stat-of-the-art music source with a Squeezebox system that includes a good jitter-eliminating DAC. Two obstacles. First, no one here at easysqueezebox can remember where we stashed our old vinyl records. Second, we don't have $37,000 we're prepared to spend on a turntable, even if it comes with a bottle of 40-year-old Highland Park. I'm sure that both products are wonderful, the Sondek and the whisky, but the chances we will get to sample either of them are vanishingly small. Too bad.

I have no doubt that the Linn engineers have achieved great success in overcoming the multiple obstacles and hazards associated with getting music off a vinyl analog disk: the RIAA curve; the inherent noise of a stylus physically bouncing along a vinyl groove; the physical softness of the disk surface, making it prone to wear and scratches; achieving a decent s/n ratio in a system that creates a tiny signal in an inherently noisy environment.

Then, vinyl users have to be almost as dedicated as the Linn engineers: allocating climate-controlled space to their bulky music collections; wearing anti-static lint-free gloves to handle their records; eliminating the dust that normally floats around all human beings; keeping detailed catalogs of their music, possibly in leather-bound ledgers.

For some people, vinyl ritual is part of the pleasure: it enhances the music. For others, all this work would be an impediment, a barrier between them and the music. Chacun à son goût.

These days, all my reproduced music is digital, based on Squeezebox. For other music, we go to live concerts; $37,000 buys a lot of concert tickets, and the occasional dram of single malt whisky.