Sometimes a love for something inspires you to make decisions that you would not have otherwise considered in a moment of sober and rational thought. So it goes for my love of music and audio technology. Sure, I listen to reel to reel tape and it does have great dynamic range and power. I listen to CD's because they are quiet, detailed and easy to handle. But it is vinyl records in cardboard jackets that I am drawn to...and analogue tube equipment that I prefer for playback, since I rebuilt my first vintage tube amplifier 20 years ago. I founded Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio using my experience as a critical listener and record collector to share my passion for hi fidelity audio.
To Know This Is To Know Me...
When I founded Voice of Vinyl Records and Audio I wanted to create a music buying experience that was different than other record buying experiences on Ebay. To sell a good record you have to create a narrative that includes the look, the sound and the feel of owning it. I do this by carefully inspecting and play grading all my listings. I use my knowledge of the history of audio recording and pressing, as well as my knowledge of music history, to provide accurate and enjoyable descriptions of the sonic quality of the record, the visual condition of the jacket and inserts and all key information that might appeal to the music lover as well as the music collector.
Every serious record listener knows that the only way to judge the quality and condition of a record is to listen to it on a decent playback system. That is why I insist on a thorough play grade because, in the end, it’s not about the rarity of the issue, or the importance of the record, it is about how a record sounds that matters to me.
There are many causes of music distortion that just cannot be evaluated by a visual inspection only. Some of the more important factors affecting the sound quality of a record are things related to the health of the record like: groove condition from playback, groove cleanliness from dust, dirt and nicotine particles hidden from sight deep in the groove cut. Other important factors are background noise from the quality and purity of the vinyl compound used to make the record and the brittleness of vinyl surface resulting from aging and environmental conditions.
After the health of the record, the next most important factor affecting the sonic quality of a vinyl record, and the hardest to judge, is the pressing order. Said differently- was the record made early in the pressing process when the stampers were fresh or late in the process after thousands of records were pressed and the stampers were worn out? A records' place in the pressing run has a profound effect on the sound of the record especially when comparing similar records in similar condition. Does the recording sound clear and powerful and close to the master cut? Or, does it sound dull, lifeless and veiled with distorted dynamics? A worn out stamper can ruin a good master cut.
The only way to accurately describe the power, dynamic range, sound stage and naturalness of a pressing is to listen to it… and compare it to similar issues I have listened to over the years. This is the difference that makes a difference.
To know this, is to know me.