It’s the first time, every time

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Paul McGowan:

Have you ever considered that a turntable setup in your home is completely unique to you?

Every record you listen to, every scratch, tick, pop and musical note played on your system is unlike what I hear on my system and unlike what your friends hear on theirs.

Vinyl reproduction of LP’s are so intertwined with the mechanical aspects of playback that no two systems sound alike. Ever. The discs themselves are each different. The phono cartridges, even those from the same manufacturer each sound different. And then there’s the turntables, the arms, the VTA, the tracking weight, the cables, the support system.

If I take one of our NPC’s and record the output of my turntable fitted with a Lyra phono cartridge and send you the CD of that event, along with the very LP I used to make this experiment, you would hear exactly what I heard on the CD, but not from the LP itself. Even if you have the same cartridge. Because it’s not the same. The very nature of a mechanical transducer, be it microphone or phono cartridge, suggests the sound will never be the same.

The next time you listen to one of your LP’s, remember that what you’re hearing is absolutely unique to your setup and your system. And remember as well with each play of the vinyl even the record itself is changing. Perhaps ever so slightly, but it is changing.

Enjoy what you have understanding it is unique in all the world.