The past meets the future

I have become a huge advocate of streaming over the last few years as streaming has at long last reached audiophile sound quality. So, for someone that is new to audio or does not have a lot of money invested… it is hard to recommend this route.

However, as an old fart. One that suffered through low end turntables, unbelievable surface noise, scratched records, and debatable fidelity for much of his life. Owning a tremendous analog end is such a pleasure. I recently upgraded my contemporary Linn LP12 to nearly the maximum. I have a Audio Research Reference 3 phono stage so the sound quality is simply stunning.

Taking a Covid break and going to my local record store… buying a half dozen great old blues albums… cleaning up to pristine condition. It is such a pleasure to hear such fidelity and musicality from a ritual I have performed since a teenager… record store, spinning. That has been mainstream for me for over fifty years. I guess it is like the old Shortwave radio guys when I was growing up. They had the 25’ antenna sticking up above their suburban houses in the 1960’s.

Just a nod to the era and tradition that will soon pass into history. It has been a blast.



Thank you for your thoughtful response. There are certainly others in your similar position who report the same overall conclusion. 

Surprised no one mentions privacy concerns re: streaming. No one else concerned?

Im 75 and dont regret to change to digital at all.

I do miss holding an album in my hands and perusing the picture on the cover and reading the notes on the back. 

Since most of my LPs were classical was also treated to may old master pictures by way of bonus.

The surface noise I will never miss.

Digital having moved into more than just passable sq works for me.

To best my modest digital rig wd require more money than Id care to pay now although I can afford it.

Id rather pay the money for the music.

So in my case no going back even if in fact a top quality TT and cart and phono stage cd best my set up.

For me the downsides esp the surface noise too much but even if that cd be overcome by superior setup and cleaning there wdnt be sufficient records to suit my needs.

Were I heavily invested in pop or maybe jazz things might be different but classical is a non starter.for me on lp now,

I used to have a bout 1000 lps now im down to about a hundred-the rest have been replace by cds and downloads.

But vinyl isnt dead it will survive and likely even thrive-lets not forget that there are people today who still collect and play 78s .



Is not an alternative way useful for looking at the differing types of medium that leads onto the need to use different methods to produce a replay of the stored information.

Moving on speedily 75 years from the invention of the Phonograph.

The usual medium of choice for storage from the Olden Days, when the might of Analogue was omnipresent has been to store the recorded information onto a Vinyl Disc or a Magnetic Polyester Tape as the Source Material.

It is safe to say these methods had time of use as the mainstream methods for a period of 20ish Years and were limited to storing Sound Only.

Both Mediums have a weight and a volume for each unit, so this requires a thought out plan from the user, for the managing of the the items when acquired in large quantities.

The methods for maintaining and storing these Mediums has evolved and to do it correct in terms of protecting it to be used for continued usage is a new area of discipline it itself, and not too many are going to take on the challenges required.  

The use of the former as a storage medium was superseded in the mainstream by the Compact Disc as the Storage Medium.

The CD is a Polycarbonate, with a Metallic Coating and other Protective Layers of Coatings. 

A Compact Disc was not only limited to storing Sound Reproduction, but was much more versatile and was used in numerous applications where computing was required, Photographic and Film are both commonly found as a content stored on the medium.

The CD was to be a tremendous success as a Storage Medium and was found in most households as a means of storing information or used as means to have access to music replays.

As a Source Material, it has a mass and a volume, and requires a consideration from a user for the methods required to store it when acquired in large quantities.

There may be disciplines developing for the maintenance and storage of this as medium, but as off yet, the knowledge is not as known as those that are required for the former methods. 

The use of a Hard Drive / RAM as a method to store recorded information and as a Source Material, is the most relevant method being adopted, the method is extremely similar to CD in the content that is typically stored on the produced files.

It is a ubiquitous method and most households will have a means in place to store a information using a Hard Drive / RAM as the starage method, for these reasons it has a very high appeal and will be readily accepted in most situations.

The Hard Drive / RAM as a Storage Medium also differs as the storage space requirement for a large volume of information is substantially reduced and will not impact on the need for space if it is not readily available. Whereas any of the former methods can impact quite noticeably on a space if the Source Material is present in large quantities.

Any logistical requirements for the transport of the entirety of a large collection when stored as a Hard Drive / RAM will only require a small amount of consideration, as it can be such that a few thousand Albums can be consolidated into a device that has a few Kg's in weight as a heavy type of a design.

Where the two former storage methods detach themselves from the methods used to use a Hard Drive / RAM method is when this method also incorporates a the Streaming method to acquire a Source Material.   

The infrastructure required to support streaming is tied into the Cloud Storage Industry, and this Industry is dependant on DATA Centres, that are substantial drains on energy and need a substantial 24/7 Power Feed.

Using a Cloud Service is totally common today and most are using one, even if they don't know of it as a App in use.

What is not readily accepted by many, is the idea of buying into a Service to acquire a Source Material to be used for a Music Replay.

At present from my end, I have my main music replays stored on the Vinyl and CD Medium and I have appox' 100 FLAC Files stored on a Hard Drive RAM.

In relation to how these replays receive air time, the Vinyl LP Album has approx' 70%, CD Album has approx' 20%+ and File Stored Music Albums along with Alexia has approx' 10%.

My wife who has built the HiFi System and Music Collection with me and has a real passion for the system, has a different approach approx' 10% Vinyl LP Album, 10% CD Album on the system, 35% CD Album in the Vehicle as a replay and 45% mixture of FLAC Files on the Laptop and Alexia when in and around the house.