LEEMA: Essentials phono preamplifier – test review

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"The way that young people will get into high-end audio is not through streaming: It's through the LP."

When that observation was offered during a recent phone conversation, I wrote it down word for word—not just because I agree with it, but because it was so remarkable: The audio-industry veteran who offered it owns a digital front end worth tens of thousands of dollars, and hasn't owned a turntable for at least a dozen years.

Nevertheless, as became clear during the remainder of our conversation, he understands the dynamic that keeps vinyl at the top: a confluence of marketing psychology and genuine sonic goodness. The latter is evident to all whose listening priorities stress a colorful and tactile sound, and who realize the aptness, perhaps unique, of a physical medium in achieving a physical sound; the former is key to the choice one makes in transitioning from a market of intangibles to that of solid media a hobbyist can actually own, collect, and love.

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