Cambridge Audio EVO 150 streaming integrated amplifier

In 1968, I was a 2-year-old toddler living in Paris, France—my birthplace—on the 14th floor of a diplomat-occupied apartment complex overlooking the Seine. My dad, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was stationed in Paris, working security at the Canadian embassy. My mom and I were there with him.

At that moment, six hours away by car, across the English Channel in the country next door, a new audio company sprung up and surprised and delighted the audio world with its inaugural product, the 20Wpc Cambridge Consultants P40 integrated amplifier. It sounded especially good and made history as the first amplifier to use a toroidal transformer.

Cambridge Audio emerged from the shadow of Cambridge Consultants. It built amplifiers, tuners, and transmission line speakers and, starting in 1985, the world's first two-box CD player, the CD1. That was followed by two iconic products: the DacMagic D/A processor and the 30Wpc A1 integrated amplifier.

In the '80s and '90s, Cambridge Audio left an indelible mark on me, a young audio idealist of modest means. Along with a handful of other salt-of-the-earth audio companies of that time, Cambridge made near-cutting-edge gear I could aspire to own and instilled in me a belief that while audiophile products might cost more than the ones you could buy at the nearby big-box store, the advantages in performance almost always justify the difference in price.

The EVO 150
The EVO 150 continues Cambridge's tradition of offering near-cutting-edge products that don't break the bank. In hi-fi economics, $3000 is neither especially cheap nor expensive, but when you consider that the EVO 150 is a streaming DAC, amplifier, and preamp all in one and that you don't need to buy interconnects, it's an attractive price if it works well and sounds good.

The EVO 150 is a network streamer with built-in class-D amplification, two technologies that have begun to find favor among hi-fi enthusiasts after some early reticence. Class-D has suffered from stigma associated with early class-D that frankly didn't sound very good. Streaming has long been associated in many audiophile minds with low–bit-rate lossy compression—a correct perception until just a few years ago when Tidal started streaming at 16/44.1; soon after that, hi-rez streaming came along.

And yet, there has been some resistance to streaming as a central listening activity. I'm a good example: On my office computer system while I'm doing something else? You bet. On my main rig where the point is to focus on the music? For me, the experience hasn't lived up to its theoretical promise of being a superconvenient, endlessly rich repository of new musical discoveries. Compared to playing a CD or LP, streaming has long felt like a cheap copy of the real thing. Maybe I've been unfair to the medium. Maybe it's just a question of habit.

As a person who craves musical connection and loves new musical discoveries, I want streaming to work as advertised, for it to matter not just because it's convenient but because I want to listen to it. Through the big rig. Because it sounds good. So when I saw this statement in a paragraph from Cambridge Audio's product literature, the gauntlet was laid down: "Unless (streaming) sounds great, what's the point?" I read. "Our in-house engineers designed StreamMagic to be the best-sounding streaming platform around, and 10 years into its development that's exactly what it is."

Was that the doorbell?

Description
The EVO 150 is Roon Ready, which means that it's a network-enabled device that communicates with the Roon core device via Roon's Advanced Audio Transport (RAAT). In addition, it supports aptX HD Bluetooth, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, Qobuz (although not here in Canada yet), and Tidal, including Tidal's MQA-encoded Masters series. It is said by Cambridge to be future-proof regarding new formats and streaming services, presumably because software and/or firmware updates can expand its streaming features. The EVO also has a headphone jack and a moving magnet phono stage said to be similar to the company's standalone model, the Solo.

The EVO uses the NCore class-D module rated at 150Wpc into 8 ohms, built by Netherlands-based Hypex Electronics, which has been in the class-D business since 2003. The EVO 150's DAC operates asynchronously via USB and uses the same Sabre ES9018K2M chip used in Mytek's Liberty DAC, which Art Dudley reviewed in the November 2018 Stereophile. He liked it.

921camb.bac

The EVO 150's back panel is a connection playground: two sets of speaker terminals; preamp and subwoofer outputs; USB connections for both a source (server or computer) and a storage device (flash drive, hard disc, or SSD); one pair of balanced analog inputs (XLR); one pair of unbalanced analog inputs (RCA); a pair of moving magnet phono inputs (RCA); three S/PDIF digital inputs (one coaxial, two TosLink); and a TV HDMI ARC (audio return channel) connection so that the EVO can conveniently handle audio from your television or other A/V source. Via USB Class 2, the EVO can accept up to 24/384 PCM and DSD256. If you're streaming from a PC, you should download a custom driver to access Class 2. If you're a Windows audio user, you probably already know that drill.

Installation and setup
The EVO came snugly packed and double boxed. Sliding it out from its burlap sleeve, what I initially took to be the shine of the top plate was instead a stiff, semigloss instruction sheet that promised I'd be "listening in no time." It depicts five easy steps, four of which are unpacking the EVO and downloading the StreamMagic app. The other step, sandwiched in the middle of the other four, shows how to hook the EVO up: into the speakers, into the electrical outlet, into the Ethernet jack. I wondered and hoped: Can life really be this simple? It was.

My EVO 150 came with the walnut side panels said to have been inspired by the company's P40 integrated amplifier. Prefer black side panels to match the rest of the chassis's color? Just switch out the walnut panels—they're magnetic—for the wave-rippled ones made of Richlite, a material made mostly of recycled paper; both are included in the box. I found both sets attractive.

On seeing the EVO for the first time with its walnut-paneled accents and oversized, jewel-like volume and source selector, my son, who watched me extract the EVO from its sleeve, exclaimed: "Hey, it looks nice. It looks premium!" It did.

The EVO aesthetic extends to the remote control, a satisfyingly weighty metal one with a well-appointed, well-organized pushbutton layout. I was happy that it came with batteries; as a youngster I was scarred by the "batteries not included" period in toy history (footnote 1). I was forced to download the full manual—it wasn't in the box—but then this is a streaming DAC: it's intended for extracting data from the internet, so no surprise.

Using the simple, clear directions in the quick-start guide, I hooked up the EVO. When its widescreen display flashed alive with big, bold letters etched across it, I decided it was the most visually arresting screen I'd seen on an audio product—and that was before I saw its radiant album covers and the roulette wheel–like volume knob that spins on the right side of the screen. I was feeling lucky.

Listening
What's better than unboxing a new piece of equipment? Listening to it! No sooner had I downloaded the StreamMagic app on my phone and selected the prelisted American Roots radio station than I was listening to Colter Wall, George Jones, and Brent Cobb sing "Plain to See Plainsman," "The Door," and "Black Crow," respectively. I knew then that the EVO was a product after my own heart, a carrier of good taste and disseminator of mythical musical culture.


Footnote 1: Who wasn't?—Jim Austin
COMPANY INFO
Cambridge Audio
Cambridge Audio USA
1913 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(877) 357-8204
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
georgehifi's picture

For $3k with all that it's got, this is going to put the cat among the pigeons, especially Class-D's that are just poweramps and cost far more. And it uses the in favour Hypex N-Core Class-D module (NC252P) not mentioned

Cheers George

rschryer's picture

"The EVO uses the NCore class-D module rated at 150Wpc into 8 ohms, built by Netherlands-based Hypex Electronics, which has been in the class-D business since 2003."

But you are right about the missing kitchen sink. :-)

Jack L's picture

Hi

Excellent price indeed. Made in China, that's why ! So don't hold your breath yet.

Jack L

snowbuffalo's picture

Happy owner of a Cambridge CXN V2 streamer, the overall user experience is fantastic and it's Roon ready - it's the least expensive piece of my audio chain and is a joy to use. It is a high-quality mid-fi unit, but it now lags behind the EVO 150 and the DacMagic 200 in terms of capability and specs like SNR because its older Wolfson WM8740 DAC chips don't have the MQA and DSD capability the the ESS Sabre ES90x8 DAC chips do. I'd like to audition the Simaudio Moon or Lumin offerings (at a higher price point), but would plunk down $ for an upgraded CX streamer from Cambridge no questions asked.

Archimago's picture

Of the six MQA versions of Getz/Gilberto, not one was blue-dot authenticated, but it didn't matter. None of that paralyzing "did I hear a difference?" self-doubt: The EVO made obvious how the standard 16/44.1kHz version, warm and sweet as it was, was outclassed by the more ambient, tonally weightier 24/96 MQA version, on which everything with air blowing out of it sounded more phlegm-filled, reverberant, and corporeal (footnote 4). As the sample rate went up, Gilberto's voice got richer and chestier, to the point that in 24/192 MQA I felt it vibrating against my ribcage. I've never had a voice do that to me before.

Huh? 6 versions of MQA-encoded G/G?!

I thought this was supposed to be "authenticated" somehow... Ya know, "as the artist intended" and stuff like that.

rschryer's picture

Tidal offers a choice of MQA-encoded releases of recordings the artist or record company heard and approved as being definitive (blue dot), or not (green dot). The latter may just mean they didn't hear that particular recording.

What I discovered was that green-dotted MQAs could also sound very good.

partain's picture

Is the latest in Bluetooth able to send a MQA-quality signal wirelessly ? Does it activate the MQA light ?

rschryer's picture

There is question now on whether the EVO 150 (or any modern streamer) can deliver an MQA-encoded signal via Bluetooth.

I'm trying to get an answer straight from the horse's mouth. Stay tuned.

rschryer's picture

From Jaclyn Inglis, Cambridge Audio:

"The answer is no, MQA cannot be carried over Bluetooth. In fact, there’s no BT codec that I’m aware of that has the bandwidth necessary to support MQA."

So, as I said: Absolutely, not. :-)

georgehifi's picture

Not what model, Hypex makes many models, some not so good, this NC252P is one of the better lower power stereo of the N-Core series.

Cheers George

Audio Bob's picture

I’m pretty sure we’ve all noticed the matching and very cool looking CD player pictured in the Cambridge ads. Does anyone have any information or a notion as to when it might be released? Dare I hope for SACD capabilities? Probably not likely, mate. But hey, I can still wish.

DH's picture

Thanks for the footnote that the MQA and other versions of the Coltrane are probably different masters. Rarely mentioned when comparisons of MQA are written about.

But...there needs to be an editorial decision to stop referring to MQA as 24bit 2X 4X and 8X rates with no caveat.
There is no such thing. All those MQA files are upsampled from lower bit rates and sample rates that is the result of the MQA processing of the original.
In all other cases of upsampling you go to pains to mention this in the text. In the case of MQA you never do. Why the special exception for MQA?

rschryer's picture

The sampling and bit rates mentioned in the text are those provided by the player, i.e. those the player sees and tells us it's playing back, whether the original signal is upsampled or not.

DH's picture

My comment was not a technical one, it was about an editorial policy of Stereophile.
In any other case I can remember, a reviewer will point out that a file he is listening to is an upsample, if that's the case.

This is pretty much NEVER pointed out with MQA, in spite of the fact that the MQA processing includes upsampling in most cases.
This isn't a question directed at your review, but a more general one about why Stereophile has a different policy for MQA than for other formats.

Jim Austin's picture

A 24/192 MQA file begins its life as a 24/192 master. It is then processed according to the usual MQA procedures; part of that is the "folding" of the data into the 24/48 package. When that file is played on an MQA-decoding device, the file is restored--I choose that word knowing that you will object--to 24/192. The unfolding is not lossless--not the last unfold at least--but it is performed utilizing information extracted from the original master file.

Please keep in mind that nearly everything restored in the last unfold (almost everything about 96kHz sampling rate or 48kHz frequency) is noise--not audible acoustical noise but electronic noise from circuits. So, truly, there's little difference between what MQA does--or what FLAC does--and upsampling: You end up with very nearly the same thing, 'cause there's not much up there to be accurate about. Curiously, this information can, apparently, affect how music is reproduced in the time domain (if it doesn't, then why does anyone care what MQA does?) and how it sounds, but restoring it losslessly is expensive (in terms of data storage and transmission costs) and also pointless. What MQA is interested in doing, apparently, is using that space to address the time domain--to get the transients right.

So your anti-MQA point is debatable--but that too is beside the point. The point is that when we write "24/192 MQA," everyone who cares understands exactly what we mean--including you. It's not a matter of dumb upsampling or of lossless restoration--it's a third thing, an MQA thing.

What you are asking us to do is to conform to your interpretation of MQA as a way of attacking MQA. That's not gonna happen on my watch.

Another thing that's not going to happen is me getting into a debate about MQA and its merits either here or at one of those other hifi discussion forums.

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

DH's picture

Of course we don't know that MQA actually does that, do we? There's no evidence. MQA doesn't allow proper testing of it's technology.
And sonic impressions of MQA are anything but unanimous in it's favor.

Archimago's picture

"Please keep in mind that nearly everything restored in the last unfold (almost everything about 96kHz sampling rate or 48kHz frequency) is noise--not audible acoustical noise but electronic noise from circuits. So, truly, there's little difference between what MQA does--or what FLAC does--and upsampling: You end up with very nearly the same thing, 'cause there's not much up there to be accurate about. Curiously, this information can, apparently, affect how music is reproduced in the time domain (if it doesn't, then why does anyone care what MQA does?) and how it sounds, but restoring it losslessly is expensive (in terms of data storage and transmission costs) and also pointless. What MQA is interested in doing, apparently, is using that space to address the time domain--to get the transients right."

1. Even if everything >48kHz is "noise", that doesn't mean it's OK to fill up the ultrasonic spectrum with distortion, right? That's what MQA is doing and you can see that when you examine the filters they use if you look a little deeper into what's being done. Filling up those frequencies with junk is not "unfolding" anything that even truly resembles the original content. You can actually see this when you examine the output!

2. What do you mean "using that space to address the time-domain"? There's no evidence that it's doing such a thing. Who said this? Where's it shown that moving from 96 --> 192kHz even substantially changes time-domain performance when true bit-depth of the original music has actually been reduced by the MQA algorithm?

Please. Don't add with misleading statements that really have not been shown to be factual.

Jim Austin's picture

1. Even if everything >48kHz is "noise", that doesn't mean it's OK to fill up the ultrasonic spectrum with distortion, right?

You're a smart guy (whoever you are), and I find most of your analyses careful and consistent. But to call it "distortion" when you're replacing noise with other very similar noise seems rhetorical to me. No, I don't agree.

2. What do you mean "using that space to address the time-domain"? There's no evidence that it's doing such a thing. Who said this?

Yes, I agree that MQA has presented no evidence that it is accomplishing this, and I regret this.

Jim Austin, Editor
Stereophile

Archimago's picture

"You're a smart guy (whoever you are), and I find most of your analyses careful and consistent. But to call it "distortion" when you're replacing noise with other very similar noise seems rhetorical to me. No, I don't agree."

Thanks for the complements. I'm just a fellow audiophile :-).

No, this is distortion, not simply noise that's somehow representative of actual content from something like an original 192kHz "master" when MQA is asked to upsample. I'll touch upon this this weekend on the blog.

"Yes, I agree that MQA has presented no evidence that it is accomplishing this, and I regret this."

Ageed.

ok's picture

..and I really wonder how in the world of "hi-res" no one till now ever thought of compressing and subsequently gettting rid of them in the first place.

Archimago's picture

Yes, in principle, the ultrasonic content is not needed (and might even result in poorer sound quality). This is why in practice, I have been downsampling most of my hi-res stuff down to 48kHz as discussed here last year:
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/07/summer-musings-post-hi-res-audio-why-hi.html

Archimago's picture

As demonstrated in this discussion of MQA upsampling to 192kHz with the Topping D90SE:
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2021/09/measurements-review-topping-d90se-dac.html

You can see that the ultrasonic content being produced is not just "noise". But rather the imaging artefacts/distortions from MQA's poor quality digital reconstruction filters.

This is bad news especially when these kinds of filters are being implemented in "MQA-CD" where the imaging starts just above 22.05kHz!

Seriously audiophiles, this is clearly not "high fidelity" audio reproduction. True "hi-res" audio isn't reproduced like this. And as Jim said (and I agree), there is no demonstration over the years that the time-domain has been improved ("de-blurred") in any way by MQA whether one "regrets" this fact or not! If anything, I would argue that the use of minimum phase filters universally will add a bit of group delay in the playback.

Here are all the MQA filters when I examined them back in 2017 with the Dragonfly Black:
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/07/measurements-audioquest-dragonfly-black.html

Be honest with ourselves, guys. As far as I can tell, the only people advocating for MQA these days is the company itself and a few audio magazines like here (along with maybe a handful of other evangelists). If there is nothing to be found of value, please let's just "call it" and move on instead of wasting time and money.

And please let Tidal know because they're really the last "outlet" for MQA-encoded music left as far as I can tell.

DH's picture

"Yes, I agree that MQA has presented no evidence that it is accomplishing this, and I regret this."

They've had since 2014 to present such evidence to back up their claims about time domain improvement.

Have never done it.
Doesn't that tell you something?

At the very least, that maybe you shouldn't accept their claims at face value and write about them as if they are true.

At the present moment those claims are nothing more than unsubstantiated marketing speak.

teched58's picture

...we all do.

tonykaz's picture

In 1950 we had metal needles & 78s.

In the 1980s we at Esoteric Audio had pricy gear owners with a small collection of Vinyl records that would get listened to over and over ( recall Amanda ? ).

Now, for $20 per month a person can have far more music than they will ever be able to listen to for the rest of their lifetimes.

Transducers are better than ever, Electronics is Better than ever, Cabling is better than ever, recordings are still have a range of Sound Quality but that SQ is easily noticed and evaluated.

Stereophile features a Buggy Whip on the Front Cover with Streaming being the Tesla Plaid performance leader.

Of course, The Amish are wonderful people , a nice group live nearby here in Pinecraft Florida but even these drive Cars ( not horses ) and electric Bicycles, own Retail Businesses and use Electricity.

Mr. R.Schryer here writes a beautiful piece of Literature. It will probably be the best piece of Stereophile writing for this Year 2021. I hope he gets Stereophile's Annual Award for Writing !

Tony in Venice Florida

rschryer's picture

...and I'm gratified that you dig my piece, but saying it may be the best article Stereophile will publish this year is way over the top.

I'm still learning and trying to get better.

Cheers from the Great White North (it's actually 29°C/84°F in Montreal as I write this—not a snow flake in sight.)

volvic's picture

“Cheers from the Great White North (it's actually 29°C/84°F in Montreal as I write this—not a snow flake in sight.)“

October is just around the corner Robert, one aspect of my old city I do not miss.
Cheers!

rschryer's picture

But October in Montreal is actually quite nice—beautiful foliage (on the outskirts and beyond) and an average high of 55°F (NYC's is 60°F).

It's not Florida, but there's something about that fresher air—it feels like you're sucking in pure oxygen.

volvic's picture

That’s what my parents told me yesterday, still brilliant weather, but getting cooler. Definitely cleaner air up there and not a honking car within miles. I spent 47 years there, Rob, and I miss it daily. It was one of the greatest cities next to London for an avid record shopper like myself. The stores that lined the downtown core within a few square km with new and secondhand record stores were one big giant candy store for me. Even now, when I come and visit, I go to my regular haunts for classical vinyl and CDs, and although there are fewer of them, it is always a worthwhile trip. The one thing I don’t miss (aside from the SAQ) is the sudden chill in the air come October, followed by the initial flakes, then the sudden drop in temperatures and snow. Having said that I can’t wait to come up again next month to get my winter gear.

rschryer's picture

To deal with it, I figured I had to choose between doing winter sports or cooping myself up with music. I chose the easy route. :-)

I'm going to venture to say that one of the reasons Montreal has always been an audio city—in terms of both record stores and its audiophile element—is because of the cold weather, although the city has certainly been getting warmer these last few years; summers are a month longer, spring comes sooner... if I said I didn't like it, I'd be lying.

And don't they have winter gear in NYC?

volvic's picture

It was always a great chance to catch up on music, once the temperature dipped. The winter window of opportunity lasted from late October till early April, at least for me. I agree, Montreal was always a great audio city but it was also due to Montrealers good taste in music and easy access to it.

My winter gear is stored in Montreal at my parent’s place..too many records and CDs in the apartment to make room for winter gear.

rschryer's picture

The Montreal audio show is in March, no?

volvic's picture

And it always snows when it’s on.

rschryer's picture

Chances are it will :-)

Jack L's picture

Hi

Yes but no!

Yes, streaming brings us the utmost CONVENIENCE of produced music access in split seconds.

That's why I stream from time to time to update myself what is going on musically worldwide: quick & easy.

But NO ! It does not yet deliver good enough sound quality vs pure analogue music media: vinyl as of todate, IMO.

My question: music enjoyment is its sound or for its easy-access convenience ? Your call, my friend.

Still remember, Sony/Philips declared CD was the "best sounding music media in the world" back in Oct 1982 (on launching redbook CD: 16bt44.1KHz in the market) ??

Listening is believing

Jack L

tonykaz's picture

I'm quite happy with 16/44 and the quality of playback from today's technological implementations.

but...

I live a mobile Work Life. I need traveling audio gear. I need small sized devices and a tiny music Library ( postage stamp sized ).

I see the photos of Large Music systems plus shelving containing vast collections of Vinyl, I don't personally know or associate with anyone owing such things.

I have known people that own Recording Studios ( specialising in Automotive Advertising ).

I came from the Vinyl World and now suggest to you that recorded Sound Quality playback rides on the Sound Quality of the Components doing the Playback. ( not on it being analog or digital )

and...

The Digital World considers Digital Sound Quality superior to Analog Sound Quality.

It's probably fair to suggest that Vinyl-only folks are Culturally similar to the Amish folks holding onto the "Old Ways"!

I relied on Analog Cassettes before RedBook Digital , I recorded Cassettes with Koetsu & VPI .

I've always admired my Vinyl gear and it's Sound Quality but there is no possible way I could return to that format.

I can hold a 15,000 Album collection in the palm of my hand.

Tony in Venice Florida

Jack L's picture

Hi

We here all know selling audios is your livelihood.

But this journal is all about music enjoyment at home as a leisure passtime. Irrelevant argument, my friend !

So you already told us many times you owns tons of vinyl records. Have you ever spent sometime to play some of them & listen to its pure musical sound vs redbook CD ??

Every audio guy plays CD since day one. But I did compare in depth both analogue vs digital media & I've settled down on vinyl for its superior musical sound quality, closer to live performance over digital, many years back.

My question to you & other digital "cult" members: have you ever seriously spent time to compare digital vs analogue musc like I did ???? Or just hearsay, assuming our ears listen to measurement data like our eyes ??

Listening is believing

Jack L

tonykaz's picture

Of course I've compared these Formats.

Every individual has a nervous system that features synapses tuned to value and appreciate selected qualities.

I was a lifetime Vinyl Audiophile, I loved the electrified ether of records playing, I probably still do.

but,

I've also found the feature set of Digital appealing on a much broader scale.

Vinyl is not Superior, it's just another format that a very small minority still prefer. It's an extreme expense hobby.

My issue is that Vinyl people take an Elevated Authority Position.

I accept that you are all tuned in to Vinyl,

I'm not tolerating the promotional & evangelical approach to Vinyl by it's various loyal believers it clearly & obviously isn't better for the Vast Global Population of Consumers.

Tony in Venice Florida

Jack L's picture

Hi

Am I selling coconuts to the Eskimos or what ?

OK, "vinyl is not superior" to you, obviously. But the top guy of a $15,000 music server maker did find vinyl "superior" as he sensed the unique EMOTIONAL fulfilment while auditioning a $150,000 turntable setup that the older music servers so far produced by his company failed to deliver. He was quoted saying putting such "emotional fulfillment" in his new top model would be biggest goal over the last few years" !!!

His quest for "emotional fulfilment" was inspired by auditioning vinyl music !!!! He wanted his $15,000 music server would also deliver such "emotional fulfilment" he experienced back then with the turntable.

"(vinyl) is an extreme expense hobby"

Yes, this is true to many vinyl music lovers, apparently.

But, but not for yours truly. I've been enjoying vinyl music providing me with "emotional fulfilment" & RELAXATION since day one many years back, that I do not find in my digital/streaming setup.

Yet, I never spent much on my vinyl playback setup. 'Cause I know the business enough to get ahead of the game.

Jack L

tonykaz's picture

I feel that you are an Important Audiophile with valid prefrences and useful opinions.

I'm quite happy that our Stereophile writers share your spirit and enthusiasm for Analog playback systems.

I've found that Digital is also a viable high performance format featuring an abundance of affordable electronics.

I'm also finding a sneering, hubristic, gas lighting group of Vinyl proponents that freely disparage.

Music has been a LifeLong Love Affair for me, it began with my Singing mother. It travels with me, it accompanies me to Venice Beach for a Drum Circle Sunset, its Waltz music while making family breakfast on Sunday mornings.

Music isn't a Format !

My lifelong collection of Vinyl isn't pressed well, we didn't have Chad Kassem's White Vinyl and precision presses doing small quantities. Still, the recordings we had were far better than 78s.

Vinyl isn't Plug & Play. Building an outstanding Vinyl playback system is challanging work requiring skilled hands, experience and the finest componants available. I owned a Vinyl Shop that specialised in Vinyl Playback systems.

You lads that pursue Vinyl and own legacy vinyl systems can be commended ! I just won't be recommending it .

Tony in Venice Florida

tonykaz's picture

I forgot to mention:

All my digital recordings are Certified Audiophile Recordings.

Nobody can say that about any of their Analog Vinyl unless it's been pressed from Certified Digital sources.

Harumph !!!

Tony in Venice Florida

ps. should I be modest about this Brag ?

Jack L's picture

Hi

Please qualify what certification standard & which authorized body set up such certification.

I am all ears !

Jack L

tonykaz's picture

Certified Audiophile Recording is humorous Click Bait.

I heard of it on Mr.Micallef's YouTube Channel where he does an entire episode dissecting another YouTuber's Audiophile rant.

I love the concept of claiming to own "Certified Audiophile Recordings" and promise to keep saying it.

It's great Click Bait for everyone, it's like Taco Bell praise to Gourmands.

Thanks for noticing and thanks for writing about it!

Tony in Venice Florida

rschryer's picture

Darn you, Tony. I wasted an hour searching for it on the Internet.

(I didn't, but good one.)

PeterPani's picture

I bought so many digital devices (DAC, streamer, CD, SACD, NAS, laptops as player). It is frustrating. Most of this devices gave me huge joy for the first months. Then came additional wishes (HD, 4K, surround, HDMI and so on). Not good for the CO2-footprint, all the old electronic boxes I store somewhere. It is frustrating and my Thorens TD124 still plays at least in the same league since 40 years. And does not need powerplants to stream a music file from US Florida to EU Vienna 24 hours every day. So I use a laptop for streaming and maybe the sound is not that good. But I gave up in improving on digital, because there will never be an end in supply of the next "better" digital device year for year for year. And with every change of equipment I lose musical content and connection to my library.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Too true! I can't agree more.

My question to digital fans: when would you guys see the pure analogue light at the end the glooomy long long Analogue-digital-analogue conversion tunnel ??????

Another decade, hopefully, after dumping outdated & upgrading to "better" digital gears N-times, spending tons of nerves, time & hard-earned money ???????

Yes, you may say I am an technically outdated old schooler (I am not alone for sure) still addicted to vinyl music ! But so what? I enjoy pure analogue music (same as any LIVE music performances) throughout without the NEED of fighting an expensive & exhaustive sonic battle without knowing when to win or lose it.

Yes, my Thorns 125II TT alone, not to mention my other direct driven TT+SME S-shaped black arm/MC cartridge, is already kicking butts, delivering music soo much closer to live vs than my CD/DVD-audio/DVD/streaming via my 24Kbit/192KHz DAC. I compared in depth between both media before I decided vinyl media to the superior way to go for musical nirvana many years back.

Enjoy music the simple but smarter way !!!

Listening is believing

Jack L

rt66indierock's picture

After we get done ridding the world of MQA and continue in my quest to break every heart that believes in high resolution audio in a playback environment. We will get to you. My Sony D100 PCM Recorder and a couple of good mics capture every emotion I hear making the recording.

As far as listening is believing well, we have a game for people like you at T.H.E. Show. Go to three rooms I pick and tell me one way in each room they are trying to trick you.

Jack L's picture

Hi.

Here you go !

Many years back, a friend who worked in the top-notch audio boutique invited me to its open house cheese/wine event.

I went in & walked in & out different demo rooms quick as I did not hear any music therein good enough to keep me there.

Until I ran into a demo room, the nice music kept me there. Then I knew it was the VTL Audio demo room. . Yes, VTL tube amps are well known for their musical sound for decades. No wonder my body refused to walk out quick.

VTL power amps are quite unlike other tube amp makes: instant switchable tetrode/triode output power mode. I know too well triode mode output power stage always sound better than tetrode or pentode mode. It only shows the VTL desingers really know & love music & go by the ears instead of measurement alone.

So I put those factory demo guys there into test by asking them which mode would sound better: tetrode or triode.

They all told me both output modes should sound the same, no different at all. I told them I disagreed: triode always sound better.

So to prove their comment was correct, they put me to test. With my back facing the demo rig, they switched momentarily back & forth tetrode & riode mode. Every time I got it right. Simply triode mode sounds better to my ears even in such blind test I was tricked into.

Listening is believing, my friend.

Jack L

georgehifi's picture

"Streaming: the most important Audio development of my Lifetime !"

Not to me, what gets streamed you, you cannot find it’s provenance, which date re-release your getting, it’s usually the latest or close to the latest
Which means it’s probably far more compressed that the earliest releases.
Here’s what I mean, The Traveling Wiburys only made the one album, but it was re-released many times, and got more and more compressed the later the release gets.

https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/year?artist=Traveling+Wilburys

And the Boss.
https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/year?artist=Bruce+Springsteen&al...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ&ab_channel=MattMayfieldMusic

Cheers George

teched58's picture

...made TWO albums. Confusingly enough, the second one was called "Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3." (Roy Orbison was not on this one, because he was, er, no longer with us.)

georgehifi's picture

Thank's for clearing that up, still shows Vol 1 is more and more compressed the later the releases are.
And the born to run is too, more compressed the later it is with stream/download
Cheers George

rt66indierock's picture

There was a loudness war and you lost. Time to move on just like Stereophile and MQA.

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