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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Rim drive?
Post Subject: History & TomorrowPosted by Stitch on: 4/29/2011

Today every Design (even the most stupid ones) will have - or have - a Fan group. High End Audio actually used to have a goal:

Perfect reproduction of the sound of real music performed in a real space. That was found difficult to achieve, and it was abandoned when most music lovers, who almost never heard anything except amplified music anyway, forgot what "the real thing" had sounded like. Today, "good" sound is whatever one likes. 

Now we have a lot of manufactures in analog, not because they are clever, no, because making a "Turntable" is no big task and the profit is high.

Digital for example is expensive, when you want a good one, you NEED the latest and fastest processors, or a top Transport, here you have to pay the high prices from the suppliers. No way out.

In analog you simply find the most simple „Design“ but covered with a nice finish Design all over, only cables and Speakers are in the same league.

The customer wants something "new", because he wants something outstanding (whatever this is).

Back to the good old times when real brain was behind a Design, a lot of Parts were used and when looking inside, the customer sees a lot of unknown but impressive parts. No idea what they do, but they look serious. 

Idler drive is going back to 1920's, more primitive Design simply does not exist (maybe rim drive, I am not really sure about the rating).

When we multiply a regular Tonearm by Factor 100, the Arm is about 27.34yd (25m) long, the Cartridge System is about 1.09 yd (1m) high with a Length of the cantilever in the area of 0.55 yd (0.5m) and the contact area from the Diamond is only 0.020 in. (0,5mm) ! Similar is the Mass in comparison.

A simple example to show what analog reproduction really is. Mechanic. Precision. Tolerances. Material mixes, suspension...Removal of all distortions which can influence the diamond (motor, bearing, spindle...)

This old Design was used as long as nothing better was available. It was replaced immediately even from Radio Stations when Direct Drives were available. But even this is sonically not the holy grail. Stations never had any importance for maximum Performance. They wanted speed to start the record, reliability and that was enough. Bass or high frequencies were never important, they couldn't send it out anyway.

These turntable were dirt cheap to buy in the 90's and now we can go back to the blood which moves the market: Marketing

See these companies who offer these vibrating units with expensive plinths, even when completely useless (some of the main units are suspends with springs, but nobody cares...). And then we have Listeners who have no idea from anything but they want to live their hobby and this is something "different", to show others "I go a different route, I am more clever than you.."

Listening with such units can make fun. Each his own. But real Performance is something different.

Colorations, vibrations can create something which some call PRAT.

A good turntable does nothing, he spins a record and isolates everything which influences the area of diamond when it is in the groove.

But when someone writes, this or that design is completely BS (you need no big intelligence, just some thinking how something works) you will get immediately flames from hurt owners, who are so happy with it. And paid a lot of money for that crap.

And they fear negative comments, because this ruins the value of their unit when they want to sell it. But - slightly - intelligent audiophiles are a minority anyway, so who cares...

Modern times :-)    

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