My love for audio equipment started over 50 years ago and it is still going strong today. Digital products the exception, over the years our industry has experienced an evolutionary change rather than a revolutionary one.
Here are some of the most epic battles:
- Direct drive versus belt drive turntables
- Vacuum tube versus solid state
- Electrostatic versus dynamic speakers
- Ported versus sealed speakers
- Class A versus Class A/B versus Digital amplifiers
With the possible exception of the Direct Drive versus belt drive, all other battles are still raging on.
My first turntable was a Philips, my last one a Linn Sondek LP12. In between, I have owned 3 Thorens, 1 Lenco, 1 Systemdek, 2 Rega, 1 Micro Seiki, and 1 Ariston. All of them were belt drive except for the Lenco L75, a very unusual Idler Drive design.
Tonearms from Stax, SME, Syrinx, Infinity, Linn, Rega, Vestigial, Grace, and Mission.
Now the question is…. are today’s turntables that much better?
Are skinny jeans that much better than bell-bottom pants?
The answer my friends is blowing in the wind… but ultimately, the answer, I would like to think is a resounding YES.
Welcome much tighter tolerances, precision machinery, more accurate and stable motors, and space-age alloys and you have the makings of today’s audiophile turntables.