Hifi Philosophy v:1.0

… In the meantime, my music listening strategy…

Now. Do LPs sound better? Probably not.

Do they sound different? Probably yes…

My hifi (’60s term) is centred around the vinyl/analogue route.

Is that necessarily better? Well, it depends which way you look at it.

The Marantz CD-74. A very fine machine

I bought my first CD-player in 1984. It cost a comparative fortune. The sales guy wouldn’t even say how long the laser would last for. He hazarded, “A couple of years?”

It lasted a lot longer than that, fortunately.

My first CD was Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms… don’t judge me. In fact, in those days CDs were so expensive you bought them on a sort of subscription scheme. However, I still have this one in my CD stash, I have to grudgingly admit. But heck… You had to be there. That’s my excuse. And it sounded pretty good, in a CD sort of way, which I came to learn was, no crackles… no soul.

Sade – Diamond Life

In 1984 the last vinyl LP I bought for maybe thirty years was this one, Sade – Diamond Life. I still have this one too. But this album still sounds great. I still have a couple of LPs nearly 20 years older than this one. They still sound great. And although I didn’t realise it at the time, CD/digital, made women sound crap.

Well, actually I sort of knew this before then. But it wasn’t so much the digital, but that hifi did a bad job on women’s voices.


Once upon a time, there was such a thing as a hifi shop. Bristol, my hometown at the time had three or four pretty good ones. My goto was up on Gloucester Road Parade. I’ve forgotten the name… sorry guys.

However, if you went to audition some element you’d take your audition record. In my case I had two; Joni Mitchell – Hissing of Summer Lawns, and Donna Summer – Donna Summer.

I always found that if you could get the female voice right, the rest of your hifi would follow. And it needn’t cost a lot. Like life, all your sound system needed was balance…

To be continued…

Author: Alan
A Stranger in a Strange Land

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