Paul McGowan writes:

I have always found it curious when someone says to me “I am 100% vinyl in my system. No use for digital audio whatsoever.” Or, “I never listen to vinyl, too dated, sounds bad.” Or, “I have sold all my CD’s and gone just to SACD.”

It’s curious because these extremes many of us go towards seem limiting and unnecessary. I know we’re an extreme lot and it takes all kinds. I respect that and find myself in the same position time and again.

But I gently kick myself every time I fall into the trap. For the longest time I did not have vinyl in my system. I spent decades working on vinyl, building better and better phono preamplifiers, studying how they work, what’s the best way to deal with a phono cartridge, building magic boxes that turned moving magnets into moving coils, the list goes on. When CD finally came of age, the pleasures and sound quality were so wonderful I just sold everything vinyl and moved on.

The first time I heard a high resolution audio bit played on the PWT I thought to myself “I can never go back”. CD’s sounded lame to me. High resolution was just everything.

Over time I have added back my vinyl, I listen to CD’s, I stream all manner of music to the system, I play high resolution audio.

Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to be an extreme person, swinging the pendulum back and fourth. Over time, the pendulum swings get shorter, and my listening pleasures increase. How much fun to grab a vinyl disc and enjoy the pleasures within, to then hop on my favorite CD, to punch up the next track on my iPad. I just love it when I play a track for someone and they say “wow, was that high resolution?” ”Nope, plain old CD.”

There are many mediums and if you can manage to have as many optimized systems in place to enjoy the best of what’s there, I think you’re ahead of the game.

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